Old River Bridge: City council approved change to allow larger crane

COLUMBUS, Miss (WCBI) – A crane is in place at the Columbus Riverwalk pedestrian bridge, but a little more muscle is needed to get the job done.

“It cost a little bit of time and they have already started the bigger crane that is on-site, and so that is why it’s necessary because it’s needed for the bigger lifts, so it is just smarter to have a bigger crane there for bigger duties since the other crane is not available,” said Kevin Stafford, Columbus City Engineer.

The city council approved the change order to the contract and where this $111,000 change would come from at its Thursday work session. Interest from the city’s lawsuit settlement in the case, a reduction of fees, and unused equipment in the contract will cover the costs.

Changes are not unusual as the city has been working on this for two years inside and outside a courtroom.

“The bridge was damaged by a barge that floated down on its own and struck the bridge and it caused the damage that we have today that made the bridge unstable. And so, it ended up being extensive work. So, it ended up being the city and the company and we had to hire an attorney to do the work on it and it has been an ongoing process,” said Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin.

Gaskin said the city is ready to see the bridge come back to life.

“We have not been using the bridge since the incident happened, and we are hoping to be back in good shape with it,” said Gaskin.

With the larger equipment making the repairs, the project should flow more quickly.

“The bigger thing is that yes it will get done faster because now the contractor controls the crane and originally, they were going to have to use a smaller crane for how long and how many days, and now they have no excuse as to why they can’t get done within in the time frame that they want to get done in,” said Stafford.

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