So, MDOT is wanting the old iron bridge on Hwy. 18 across the Bayou Pierre in Copiah County moved out and will pay for just about all of the relocation costs, according to the legal notice in this week’s issue. The bridge is listed on the National Register, and moving it will present quite a challenge to lucky entity that covets it.
My own fondness for iron bridges dates back decades. Growing up, my family would make trips to Pinola and Mendenhall to see our grandparents – my dad Ira’s folks. Driving on MS Hwy. 28, we crossed two of these iron bridges on the way. The longer one spans the Pearl River on the other side of Georgetown. It seemed like it was 100 feet over the water. The other one, at Strong River in Simpson County, is shorter, but no less impressive. I remember we used to duck our heads in the Daddy’s car or truck when we went under those bridges–a game that I played with my own kids when they were little.
The bridge on Hwy. 18 is pretty much up for grabs. Moving it is going to present a huge challenge. But, so did moving the home from Gallman to Hazlehurst that is allegedly the birth home of the late Robert Johnson, ‘King of the Delta Blues Men.” That little structure will one day rest in our little touristy area in downtown, in an area where the Depot, the Millsaps Hotel, the old box factory wagon, the ‘Golden Spike’ and the red caboose are now located along the railroad. Wouldn’t the iron bridge–an historic structure that is part of the deep heritage of Copiah County–make a nice addition as another unique aspect in our downtown?