Bridge reopens early in hurricane-damaged Mississippi

| 10/3/2005

A bridge on Interstate 10 in Pascagoula, MS, that was damaged during Hurricane Katrina has reopened ahead of schedule.

The bridge was damaged about a month ago, when a barge and two tugboats were swept into supports on its eastbound side. Repair workers had to replace more than 300 feet of bridge supports and roadway to get the bridge back to four lanes of traffic, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported.

The bridge was not expected to be fully reopened until mid-October, but Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said in a press conference Saturday that incentives in the construction company’s contract for early work helped push the project along.

“The bridge was repaired in record time thanks to a flexible bidding process and incentives in the contract,” Mineta said.

The repairs cost $5.2 million and the T.L. Wallace Construction Co. was awarded an additional $1 million – $100,000 a day – for finishing the project early.