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(ITAWAMBA COUNTY)(WCBI)

A small but important bridge in Itawamba County is no longer safe to cross.

In rural Itawamba County on Boatramp Road, there is a bridge dating back to 1923.

The Walker Levee Bridge has stood strong for 90 years, but with age comes safety concerns.

“Well the federal bridge inspectors came and inspected it and they said that it was not safe to cross anymore so they told us we had to shut it down,” said Kermett Newell, Road Manager.

Not wanting to loose state federal road funds, County leaders complied.

Walker Levee Bridge has been closed to traffic since December 2011.

The problem is that the bridge leads to the area’s only boat ramp into the Tenn-Tom Waterway, and about 30 residents are somewhat inconvenienced.

One option calls for building a new bridge.

“We have money appropriated right now for the bridge which we’re looking at between 100 to 150 thousand dollars. Using county labor, local funds, and some grant money,” said Newell.

Itawamba County officials are hoping to have a new bridge erected by the end of this fall.

But  get this, they very well might just get to keep the one they have come to love for decades.

If that’s the case, there will be two standing side by side.

“Going to leave it there. Its kind of a land mark for that community. Its been there for 90 years and people just don’t want to see it, you know torn down,” said Newell.

There are a total of 17,063 bridges in Mississippi.

2,650 of those are structurally deficient bridges.

 

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