Traffic

Lane closures, drawbridge openings expected at Wilkes Bridge on 605/Lorraine Road

A snooper truck crew checks underneath the draw bridge of the Wilkes Bridge on Lorraine Road, Monday, May 8, 2017.
A snooper truck crew checks underneath the draw bridge of the Wilkes Bridge on Lorraine Road, Monday, May 8, 2017. ttisbell@sunherald.com

Motorists who travel Mississippi 605/Lorraine Road and the Wilkes Bridge in Gulfport can expect delays through Thursday for road and bridge work.

The drawbridge will be up intermittently for periods of 10 to 15 minutes.

Lane closures are planned during road work, inspection and repairs to the bridge that spans the Bernard Bayou, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The work area extends from Reichold Road to Carl Legget Road.

An electronic road sign on the southbound side Monday showed lane closures would run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An MDOT traffic alert shows the lane closures could run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

While MDOT workers inspect the bridge, the use of a snooper truck means temporary lane closures throughout the week, MDOT spokesman Michael Flood said.

A snooper truck is a bridge-access crane that allows bridge inspectors, working inside an open, cage-like platform, to get under and across bridges.

During inspection periods, the draw will be raised and lowered to allow inspectors to evaluate mechanical components, Flood said.

“The goal is to try and not impact the peak morning and afternoon traffic times, but right now there is no specific time that the snooper truck will be there or exactly when the bridge will be opened and closed for testing,” he said.

Motorists are encouraged to use caution, as workers will be moving about across the area.

Motorists can call 511 to check on the current status. They also can download the MDOT Traffic mobile app or check the status at MDOTtraffic.com, Flood said.

The project started at 11:45 p.m. Sunday. MDOT alert estimates the project will be completed by 3 a.m. Thursday.

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department is using reserve officers to help man the area, Gulfport Police Sgt. Joshua Bromen said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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