May 24, 2010 10:49:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Traffic is expected to return to normal on Old West Point Road this week as crews complete the reconstruction of a bridge that washed out earlier this month.
The primary bridge reconstruction work has been completed by Ellis Construction of Columbus, Starkville city engineer Edward Kemp said Friday, but inclement weather Thursday and Friday prevented the necessary work for roadway repaving and final cleanup. Work will continue on the bridge today and Tuesday, with a goal of reopening the bridge on Wednesday morning, Kemp said.
A motorist was driving on Old West Point Road May 3 when he noticed an approximately 4-by-4 foot hole had formed in the southbound lane, at the edge of a bridge about 1/4-mile south of the Highway 82 overpass. The bridge crosses an unnamed tributary of Sand Creek.
A large pile of downed trees, limbs and other debris formed a dam at the bridge, which forced rushing water into the south side of the bank. Eventually, enough of the bank washed out under the road to cause the pavement to collapse at the edge of the bridge, approximately 20 feet above.
The city immediately closed the road and set up a detour, which drivers have followed for the past three weeks.
Motorists traveling north on Old West Point Road can turn left on Critz Street, right on North Montgomery Street, right on Butler Road and right on Stowood Road, which connects with Old West Point Road just north of Highway 82. Motorists traveling south on Old West Point Road can make a right on Stowood Road, a left on Butler Road and a left on Rockhill Road, which turns into North Montgomery Street, before making another left on Critz Street.
Also this week, work will continue on the roadway and sidewalk improvements along Hospital Road, between Hiwassee drive and Jackson Street. Most of the work will be concentrated on the western end of the project near Hiwassee Drive.
Milling was scheduled to begin this morning on Whitfield Street, from Avenue of Patriots to Greensboro Street, and on Louisville Street, from Industrial Park Road to Lynn Lane.
"Paving operations will most likely start the following week," Kemp said.
Additionally, work will continue this week on a bridge along Academy Road, including re-grading and installation of rip-rap to prevent future erosion.
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