BALDWYN • County officials are moving forward with plans to replace a county-owned timber bridge with assistance from the state and federal government.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors voted to award a $1.1 million bid to Phillips Contracting Co. to replace the timber bridge located on County Road 941 between Guntown and Baldwyn in the Pratts community with a concrete bridge.

Carson Neal, the county’s engineer, said this bridge is funded through the first phase of the state’s emergency road and bridge repair program.

“There will not be any more (funds) for the next three years,” Neal said. “Now, at the end of this three-year cycle, they’ll go to a re-evaluation, and Lee County could get some of those projects approved we’ve already submitted.”

Phil Morgan, the Lee County District 1 supervisor, said the bridge is in his district and had a low weight limit and wasn’t being traveled on a lot.

“This is the only bridge in Lee County that qualified for this type of assistance,” Morgan said.

Tim Allred, the county’s road manager, said the bridge was very old, and it had fallen into disrepair. The government will pay for the bridge replacement because the repairs fell under specific repair programs the federal government has available, according to Allred.

“Now, this will be a nice bridge,” Allred said. “It’ll last for 80-100 years.”

The replacement of the bridge comes at a time when approximately 411 bridges have been posted with weight limits and when approximately 65 bridges have been closed after falling into disrepair in Northeast Mississippi.

Construction on the bridge is set to begin in the next six to eight weeks.

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