Hancock County

Kapalama Bridge reopens 11 days ahead of schedule

MAURICE SINGLETON/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDThe Kapalama Bridge in Diamondhead has deteriorated to the point of needing to be replaced, which will close Kapalama Drive, a main thoroughfare.
MAURICE SINGLETON/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDThe Kapalama Bridge in Diamondhead has deteriorated to the point of needing to be replaced, which will close Kapalama Drive, a main thoroughfare.

DIAMONDHEAD -- A popular bridge that connects Diamondhead to what residents call the "back part" of the city, which is also an alternate route to Interstate 10 and several popular businesses, has reopened after reconstruction.

The Kapalama Bridge opened 11 days ahead of schedule, according to the city's Facebook page.

Hancock County began to replace the bridge on June 1, and it reopened at 5 p.m. Monday. The city originally planned for the bridge to be closed for a month.

In 2011, Hancock County county financed repairs that included the bracing of several pilings to keep the bridge open. A September 2015 inspection showed further deterioration with rotting in other pilings and walls under the bridge.

Supervisors decided to use county funds to fix the bridge rather than wait up to two years for state aid, District 2 Supervisor Blaine LaFontaine told the Sun Herald.

While the bridge was closed for repair, citizens who used Kapalama Drive to commute to work or spend money at businesses on the route had to take an alternate route through the front of the city.

While some residents were annoyed that the bridge was closed, others were happy that it would be safely repaired for future travels.

Morgin Monti lives near the Kapalama Bridge and works in Harrison County, so the commute was longer for her, but she said she did not mind.

"I drive my son over that bridge every day -- I want it to be safe," she said.

  Comments