Work could begin soon to Pearl River bridge on I-10 in Hancock County

The state Department of Transportation said Wednesday that a contract is expected to be awarded Friday to repair the Pearl River bridge on Interstate 10 in Hancock County that was damaged in January.

That’s when a semi-truck car hauler carrying seven BMWs hit the concrete bridge railing, damaging the bridge rail and deck in the right-hand lane. The span has been reduced to one lane of traffic westbound since the January 11 crash.

A resident asked in a post about another project why the bridge traffic was still down to one lane with no repairs visible. “The traffic backup is getting quite ridiculous!” the poster said.

The short answer is an anticipated completion date in mid-April. But here’s what has to happen.

MDOT responded that the project would be let on Friday, after which a timeline could be established as to when the roadway would be back open to two lanes each direction.

“We anticipate a short time frame due to I-10 already being down to one lane,” MDOT said in its response. “The contractor will be allowed to work 24/7.”

MDOT went on to explain that the contract would call for removal of the damaged bridge rail first, then a hydro demolition before repairing the beams underneath the bridge and replacing the damaged bridge deck.

After that work is completed, traffic will move to the newly constructed right lane so repairs can be made to the left lane.

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