Natchez-Vidalia westbound bridge closing for two years

NATCHEZ, Ms. (KNOE) - The Natchez-Vidalia westbound bridge is closing for repairs as early as June 1st. It will be closed until at least April of 2019.

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News
Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

The original westbound bridge opened in October of 1940.

"That bridge is the original bridge. It's very old, and it rusts, and pins are wearing out," says Mike Lazarus, President of the Adams County Board of Supervisors. "They're telling us it could be up to two years closed. That's not good."

Lazarus says traffic will be a hassle once it closes.

"It's going to be a major inconvenience for everybody around here. We're just a small community, and the river is between us. But a lot of people live in Natchez and work in Vidalia, and it's vice-versa. A lot of people live in Vidalia and work in Natchez. At 8 o'clock in the morning, and 5 o'clock in the evening, that bridge is packed both ways," Lazarus says.

Lazarus and Natchez Alderwoman, Sarah Carter Smith, are not keen on the idea, but Smith says the closure is for everyone's best interest - and not just locals.

"The safety of people traveling across the bridge, people that are local and people that travel through here... that comes first," says Smith. "So we have to do what we have to do.... Just be patient. We had one bridge here for years and years and we all survived."

Both directions of traffic will move to the eastbound bridge while the westbound bridge is under construction.