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Aging bridge to close permanently

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 5/02/2013 6:47 pm
OZARK COMMUNITY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Harold Heatherly is a life-long resident of the Ozark Community. Fishing and hunting have been a way of life for 60 years.

"It means a lot. And my grandkids go over there fishing, swimming, skiing, and they up and closed it," Heatherly said.

Walker's Bridge was closed in December, 2011, but that has hardly kept people out.

Itawamba County Road Manager Kermett Newell says every effort to block the bridge has failed to keep people out.

"Federal bridge inspectors say that it's not capable of being repaired. So, we're just trying to do the best we can and get by with what we've got," Newell said.

The Office of State Aid Road Construction Inspectors determined the bridge to be unable to bear the weight of what usually passes over it-a truck and boat.

The bridge may be 90-years-old, but it remains the route of choice for those who want to put their boats in on the west side of the waterway in the Ozark Community.

"This is the only access point to the Tombigbee Waterway from Bay Springs to Peppertown on this side of the river. So, it's a bad inconvenience to go to the waterway to go fishing or hunting or anything if this access gets closed," Thomas Mize said.

"Oh sure. They need it. All the people on this side of the river need it," Danny Benefield said.

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