MDOT challenges contractor to re-open bridge by end of month

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has awarded a $2 million contract to a Lake, Miss., firm to rebuild the Popp’s Ferry Bridge.

MDOT has given Joe McGee Construction Co. the OK to begin work on Saturday. April 28 is the targeted completion date — with MDOT awarding the contractor a $75,000-per-day bonus for early completion or a $75,000-per-day penalty for late delivery.

MDOT will use Federal Highway Administration emergency funding to replace two sections of the bridge that were damaged when a tugboat pushing eight barges collided with the bridge on March 20.

MDOT Director Butch Brown said the bridge should be re-opened to vehicular traffic by the end of the month.

“MDOT is happy to work with Mayor Holloway and the City of Biloxi on this project,” Brown said. “Record-breaking repair schedules are in place once again, allowing the coast community to continue recovery and rebuilding efforts.”

Pedestrians will be prohibited from using the bridge until a specific railing material can be delivered. Final completion of the project is expected June 5.