Bridge to be discussed

JACKSON COUNTY - County supervisors decided Tuesday to talk with the Ocean Springs School System before building a bridge over a school campus that doesn't exist.

The county has the money for the bridge, but is leery of building it until it has a commitment from the school district that it will go through with its plans to build a school east of Ocean Springs to accommodate children in that fast-growing residential area.

The bridge was part of the county's plan to extend Mississippi 57 south of U.S. 90 to the access road for the St. Andrews area at Graveline Bayou.

Along the route is the school district's land. The county agreed to build a bridge over that property so the Mississippi extension wouldn't bisect the campus.

But Supervisor John McKay said he has not been able to obtain a date when the school district would actually build the school.

Supervisor Frank Leach said he was concerned with building a bridge over nothing, when construction costs are particularly high on the Coast after Katrina.

Supervisors said they would hate to see a bridge sit there for 10 years without the school.

The county has set aside the money for the bridge, $1.1 million it borrowed with a bond issue for roads and $1.5 million in federal funds. But McKay said the money could sit in escrow until the county needs it for the bridge.

Supervisors instructed McKay to meet with the school district and get a better idea of what its plans are for a school in that area.