HED: Bridge work to cut off Butler Drive

CATEGORY: Tupelo Stories

AUTHOR: MOULDE

HED: Bridge work to cut off Butler Drive

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

Butler Drive will be closed to through traffic near the Tupelo city limits beginning next week for bridge repairs, the city Public Works Department announced.

The work is expected to take about a week.

The closure will begin Tuesday and could run through April 5, Lynda Ford, assistant director of public works, said.

“Hopefully, we can complete it sooner,” Ford said. “But we thought it was best to (set aside) a week.”

Through traffic will be routed to Purnell Drive, a lengthy detour that would carry eastbound traffic from outside the city limits to Jackson Street Extended leading to Coley Road, or back to Butler Road near Coley. Westbound traffic would follow the reverse route.

Motorists might also choose to use several county roads farther west of the city to access Chesterville Road and/or McPherson Road leading into the city to the south.

The bridge sits about 300 feet to 400 feet inside the city limits, Ford said.

Ford said officials noticed the bridge edges were sloughing off about two months ago, but the bridge was not on this year’s drainage work schedule. However, deterioration was advancing so quickly that officials decided to move it to emergency status for repairs, she said.

“It’s an old, old bridge. We noticed it was rotted on the sides,” she said.

Ford said the city has notified schools and other agencies so they can work out new travel routes until the work is completed.

City crews will do the work, but Ford said the status of the bridge should be examined again in two to three years when traffic counts on Butler Road are more established. The west Tupelo area is growing fairly rapidly, officials noted.