Did you see it on Craig’s List, a state highway engineer joked.
Well it’s not on Craig’s List, but the Mississippi 57 highway bridge over Red Creek is being advertised for sale.
The state will even help you move it by paying the new owner what it would cost the state to tear it down.
“It has historical relevancy, so by law, we’ll pay up to the demolition cost to help relocate it,” said Kelly Castleberry, Mississippi Department of Transportation district engineer. “The catch is, whoever takes it has to maintain it as a historical structure ... make repairs, paint it right and keep it intact.
“It sounds good when you first hear about it, but maintenance is part of why we’re replacing it. That and the age,” Castleberry said.
The Red Creek Bridge is a steel truss structure built in 1959. It’s the trusses — the metal superstructure — that give it that distinctive look. The trusses are designed to support the weight of the traffic going over the bridge. It’s a building style that was popular in the 1940s and 50s, Castleberry said.
As concrete improved in the 1960s and 70s, new bridges were made with longer and longer spans of concrete.
Castleberry said the state regularly offers bridges for sale when they’re being replaced. There were five older bridges on Mississippi 49 available two years ago. Even though people called about them, there were no takers and the state demolished them in place.
The Red Creek Bridge, however, has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Castleberry said that doesn’t mean it’s on the register, but if you take it, the transfer deed will include preservation covenants which will require the new owner to preserve and maintain its architectural elements in accordance with standards established by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
In addition, the buyer will assume all legal and financial responsibilities, whatever that may be.
Castleberry noted it likely will cost more to move the bridge than to tear it down, so what the state will be contributing isn’t going to even cover the cost of moving it.
Cities and counties won’t be interested because of the maintenance costs. Perhaps someone with a hunting camp or large tract of land with a ravine that needs spanning.
It’s an interesting looking bridge, he said, and MDOT is sure to get some interesting calls.
Red Creek Bridge for sale
- Located on Mississippi 57, it’s 1.1 miles south of the George County line.
- Individuals or organizations may submit relocation and preservation proposals to be reviewed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Federal Highway Administration and MDOT.
- If a relocation proposal is approved, MDOT will reimburse the recipient the relocation cost provided it does not exceed the estimated cost of the demolition as determined by MDOT.