Fort Bayou Drawbridge temporarily closed in Ocean Springs

For weeks we have been reminding you of the temporary closure of the Fort Bayou Drawbridge in Ocean Springs. After weeks of preparation, the closure is official.

Biloxi resident Danny Carter said, “Leave early. Try to get off work early, too.”

Woolmarket resident Martin Wagner said, “Definitely going to have to spend an extra 20 minutes of your time to get to where you need to get.”

The biggest advice Gulf Coast residents can give to one another is take off earlier than normal as Monday marks day one of the Fort Bayou Drawbridge’s 45-day closure. Ocean Springs resident Caroline Mitchell said, “It really puts a delay on things to get places, to get to where you need to be because you have to add in the time of traffic. Usually it’s just five minutes, you’re there.”

MDOT Information Officer Michael Flood said, “We know that it is an inconvenience, a 45-day closure. But it’s something that has to be done. We’re trying to get it done before hurricane season.”

The drawbridge was built in 1986 and hasn’t had any major maintenance projects since then. During the closure, crews will upgrade the bridge’s motor, generators, gears, and axles as well as give it a fresh coat of paint. Luckily for commuters, a closure like this shouldn’t happen again for some time. “The work we’re doing is going to extend the life of the bridge 30 or 40 years. We are not anticipating having to do any major work on this bridge once the complete project wraps up.”

Once the closure is completed, traffic will go back to the two-lane configuration until the project is fully completed. “Please bear with us and if you happen to forget, please drive slow as our workers are working. Be on the lookout for detour signs where our directional signage is.”

The drawbridge repairs are estimated to be finished by the end of 2021.

Categories: Featured, Jackson County, Local News, News

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