Work Resumes on Bogue Chitto Bridge After Nine Months

Wed July 20, 2005 - Southeast Edition

BOGUE CHITTO, MS (AP) Work is scheduled to resume on a bridge in Bogue Chitto, officials said.

The Bogue Chitto River Bridge was originally scheduled to be opened by December.

But the bridge, 80 percent complete, has stood unfinished since last September when the original contractor, Mid-South Construction, of Columbia, removed its crews from the site.

The company was declared in default of its contract May 16. Mid-South has since gone out of business.

Insurance Company of the West, the contractor’s bonding agency, assumed control of the project last month and hired T.L. Wallace Construction, of Columbia, to finish the project.

Two of that company’s crews were scheduled to resume work on the structure July 13. One crew will work on the bridge; the other will secure the site and start dirt work on the river banks.

“It’s a mess,” said Jay Carney, project manager of T.L. Wallace. “There is so much that was not finished correctly. The first thing we have to do is go in and clean up the job site and correct some issues.”

Carney said the project should be finished in four months.

The original contract was awarded for $2.8 million. Mid-South was paid $2.63 million for its work, leaving $553,500 in federal funds to complete the contract — not enough to finish the job, said Lincoln County Engineer Carl Ray Furr.

Insurance Company of the West also is absorbing the $390 daily fine originally assessed to Mid-South. The fine is issued for each day since the contract expired that workers could have been working on the bridge.

Furr said Mid-South apparently was overextended by several large contracts it received in a short period of time. The company was terminated from bridge contracts in Amite and Simpson counties, and there were similar problems in Leake County.