John Sewell expected construction to replace the bridge over Eubanks Creek in the 300 block of Hawthorn Drive in Jackson to be completed in just a few months.
“We were told it would take two to three months back in the summer,” said Sewell, whose residence is located on Hawthorn Drive next to the creek.
“They tore the bridge out in June.”
The project soon came to a halt, he said, when Entergy drained Lake Hico, which is located off West Northside Drive, at the request of the Jackson Public School District. The lake, which used to provide water for the nearby Rex Brown power plant that is now closed, feeds into Eubanks Creek.
When water that originated from Lake Hico filled the creek, it was difficlt for workers to move the project ahead.
“From June until August there was no work done on the bridge,” Sewell said, noting that little work has been done to move the project ahead.
Sewell said he’s lost hope that the bridge will be replaced any time soon. “They’ve given us empty promises,” he said.
The bridge over Eubanks Creek in the 300 block of Hawthorn Drive in Jackson has been closed for more than three years. The Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction directed the city to close it in 2018 due to structural issues.
Jackson’s One Percent Infrastructure Sales Tax Commission approved funding that would pay for replacing the structure located between Sherwood Drive and Robin Drive in Fondren.
The commission approved $478,353.40 for the bridge replacement. The city received $50,000 in BP settlement funds to help with the construction, which is estimated to cost $528,000.
Stantec Consulting has drawn the plans for the project, and Hemphill Construction received the contract to do the work, which involves removing the bridge’s timber piling and replacing it with another type of support.
The bridge should have been kept as a pedestrian bridge, said Sewell, who believes there is no need to replace it because emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances have plenty of ways to reach homes in the neighborhood.
Pete Perry, a member of the One Percent Infrastructure Sales Tax Commission, said the bridge had to be replaced and is needed for the neighborhood to have necessary access for emergency vehicles.
Residents are always happy to hear about a construction project, he said, but soon tire of time one takes to complete.
Sewell said he’s ready for the work to be done on the bridge.
“The view out my front door looks like the back end of an industrial park in Newark,” he said.