Engineers work to pair I-110 drawbridge

The I-110 bridge is the most traveled drawbridge in South Mississippi. And it won't be opening for boats until damage to the locking system is fixed.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:31 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:37 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The most traveled drawbridge in South Mississippi won’t be opening until damage to the locking system is fixed.

That’s the latest from MDOT engineers as they repair the I-110 drawbridge.

The draw bridge is currently in working order, but it’s not perfect.

Engineers have been busy inspecting the damage, getting estimates from contractors and fixing what they can.

The goal is to get the draw bridge back in tip-top shape.

“As soon as we get that gear aligned, we think everything should be fine,” Dean Moody, MDOT engineer.

A vessel traveling under the I-110 bridge before the draw was fully opened resulted in a sheered-off locking pin and a misaligned gear.

While that happened two weeks ago, it wasn’t until last Thursday when a sensor prevented the bridge from locking that crews noticed the extent of the damage.

“We went back to our bridge logs and noticed there was an incident where a crew boat came through here and as it was going through the bridge, it actually hit the bridge and we suspect it may have shifted that and caused the lock pin to sheer off. We also noticed the main gear down there is misaligned,” Moody said.

“The bridge will recognize automatically that the lock isn’t in place. If the lock doesn’t go back in place, it won’t allow the gates to come back up and the traffic can’t run on that bridge.”

That’s when MDOT crews sprang into action, and within two hours, engineers had traffic flowing again, but it was a temporary fix.

“We had our truck come in today and inspect the damage of the bridge,” Moody said. “He did the repairs to the pin that was sheered off on the lock, so the lock is now working properly.”

With a new locking pin in place, the only issue left is the misaligned gear.

“The draw bridge can still function, this is just fine-tuning the main gear under there because it’s knocked out of alignment,” Moody said. “We’ll have to realign that platform, realign that gear, once that is completed, we feel like the bridge will be in perfect shape.”

Engineers also said because of the misaligned gear, they’re not allowing any drawbridge openings until it’s fixed. Cars can still drive across I-110 without issue. That work on the misaligned gear is expected finish by Friday.

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