- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) - Jackson County will spend about $2 million to replace one of Gautier’s oldest bridges.

Supervisor Mike Mangum told WLOX-TV in Biloxi (https://bit.ly/1BdtZuu ) the LaMotte Bayou Bridge received failing grade last year from the state.

“This bridge has a lot of years on it, but it has a lot of steel structure underneath it that has deteriorated because of the saltwater,” said Mangum.

The low rating is not surprising to residents who travel the bridge. They said usually high tides or a heavy rain washes out the bridge.

“That is my problem. I can’t stay here during a storm,” resident Donna Ryan said.

“The last tropical storm we had, this area did go underwater. We had to have the fire department to respond and I was trapped,” Gautier Councilman Casey Vaughn said.

Vaughn said flooding is just of many issues on this overpass.

“The pathway is deteriorating, it is hard for children to ride their bikes when cars are passing and it is dangerous,” said Vaughn.

Mangum said grant money will allow the county to replace the 76-foot bridge with a 720-foot span.

“It will be little wider, it will a five foot sidewalk going the whole length of the bridge. It will be at an elevation of 12 feet,” Mangum said.

Mangum and Vaughn said construction is expected to start on the bridge early next year.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, https://www.wlox.com

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