Wednesday was the last day the Big Ridge Road Bridge in D'Iberville was open for through traffic. City officials are doing everything they can to prepare local merchants for the change. Car salesman, Ryan Matheny, works at a dealership on Boney Avenue right next to the Big Ridge Road Bridge.
Matheny is concerned about how Thursday’s closing of the bridge will affect his business. Matheny says, “What it’s doing is routing traffic away from the dealership as opposed to where we need it to go.” Wednesday, representatives from the City of D'Iberville and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (M.D.O.T.) met with local merchants to prepare them for the bridge closing. The loss of this major thoroughfare means customers may have a tough time visiting some D'Iberville businesses.
Bobby Weaver, Engineering Advisor for D’Iberville, says, “They're our life line, these businesses of D'Iberville. If people don't come shop here, they don't stay, and revenues are not good.” The bridge runs over I-110, through the heart of the city and is set to be demolished on June 21st.
A new, wider bridge will be built in its place at a cost of $11 million. The construction of the new bridge will be completed in 10 to 12 months. In the meantime, local businesses will have to get creative to keep their customers coming. Matheny also says, “The city has been very good to us to allow us to put out signage to help customers find the dealership.”
The new bridge is part of the larger diverging diamond construction project at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 110. Officials with M.D.O.T. tell News 25 the project will make traffic flow more efficiently as D'Iberville continues to grow. Matheny closes, “D'Iberville is really booming right now, so we'll take the year of being down a little bit to get the boom that will come when they are done with it.”