A bridge on Davis road in Byram needs to be repaired, so school buses and emergency vehicles don't have to take long detours around it. The bridge is just south of Siwell Road, the major road through the city.
The weight limit on the bridge is now posted at 10,000 pounds because the wooden supports to the bridge are split, decayed, rotting out and hollowed. A fire truck that must use it to get to Siwell Road, where most of Byram's businesses are located, weighs 65,000 pounds.
School buses which have been using it weigh up to 35,000 pounds loaded with students. Byram Mayor Nick Tremonte, who inherited the bridge from Hinds County when his city was formed, says it must be replaced at a cost of $165,000 and will be as soon as possible.
"We are trying to look into our treasury, find some funds in another area. We will have to reallocate them, and then go back and try and recoup our costs from Hinds County, which is going to be difficult in spite of the fact that Hinds County has been collecting the taxes, the bridge tax all these years. They say they don't have money to repair bridges," said Tremonte.
Byram volunteer fire chief Paul Hollingsworth told us about the detours his trucks must take to avoid the bridge. "Say we had a call at Siwell and Davis Road, we would come about six miles at least, instead of a half a mile. Narrow road for our truck to take, I'd say 15 to 20 minutes to get there."
WLBT News talked to Hinds County Public Works Director Carl Frelix about the bridge, who told us it had been known for two years that it was limited to 10,000 pounds. Frelix didn't have time to talk with us on camera.
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