Bridge Completion Requires Dry Weather - - Jackson, MS

Hinds and Rankin Counties 08/08/03

Bridge Completion Requires Dry Weather

By Joanna Gaitanaglou

We've been waiting and waiting, but the Woodrow Wilson Bridge still isn't finished. Those in charge of this four-and-a-half-million-dollar construction project say don't blame them, blame it on the rain.

After some much needed reconstruction that began last October, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is 80% complete. The bridge, which connects Flowood and Jackson, was closed about two years ago because it was deemed unsafe.

"We probably would have been finished right now with the bridge had we not had so much rain in the past year," said David Trevathan, president of Key Constructors. Key Constructors is the company handling the project.

Trevathan says recent rainfalls are keeping water levels high on the Pearl River, which makes it impossible to operate any equipment.

"The cranes have to work in the lower levels there, " said Trevathan. "The river came up so quickly and one piece is trapped, and it's flooded now."

Trevathan says the company has used 280 of the 400 working days assigned to this project. When the river is high, workers can only attend to minor details.

"This is very unusual for this time of year, but it's flooded, and it will be flooded until about the middle of next week," said Trevathan. "It's cost us a week and a half this episode."

Trevathan says before it was closed, anywhere between 8,000 and 9,000 vehicles crossed the bridge every day. He says once the construction is complete, it will be stronger and safer for that same amount of traffic.

Trevathan says the bridge will be complete sometime around Thanksgiving.

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