Cedar Lake bridge to close to motorists May 16-June 17

The Cedar Lake bridge north of Interstate 10 in Biloxi will be closed to all vehicular traffic from Monday, May 16 at 6 a.m. to June 17 to allow contractors to begin sandblasting and repairing the bridge’s steel support beams, part of a $684,000 project to upgrade the aging, two-lane bridge.

Mayor A.J. Holloway, who had hoped to minimize periods when the bridge would be completely shut down to motorists, said that the closure will shave several weeks off the original construction schedule, which would have seen the bridge closed intermittently through mid-November.

“We looked at the available options,” Holloway said, “and this option saves time and gets the major inconvenience out of the way on the front end. This closure also will allow the workers to make the repairs in a safe environment.”

During the sandblasting work, the 170-foot swing span of the 400-foot bridge will remain open to allow marine traffic on the Tchoutacabouffa River to pass, and sections of the bridge will be enclosed in a huge tarpaulin to prevent paint shavings from falling into the river 20 feet below.

The 4,800 motorists who cross the Cedar Lake bridge on an average day are being advised to use the I-10 exits at either Highway 15 or Woolmarket as alternate routes. Detour routes will be marked.

Today, the city has begun notifying Cedar Lake Road business owners and residents about the closure.

Once the support beams under the bridge are sandblasted and painted, intermittent lane closures may be required to allow workers to safely make repairs near lanes of traffic.

The Biloxi City Council on April 15 approved $684,000 for two contracts to repair the bridge, which 13 months ago was closed to heavy vehicles. The work includes a $365,000 contract to Complete Engineering and Construction Inc. for needed structural improvements to the bridge, and a $319,000 contract to Industrial Corrosion Control to sandblast and paint the bridge.