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Judge Rules In Eminent Domain Case For Bridge Right-Of-Way Acquisition

The Hwy. 51 bridge in northwest Yalobusha County that crosses the Yocona River has been closed since April, 2022. The Mississippi Department of Transportation will open bids on the replacement project later this month.

ENID – A final judgment was handed down by Circuit Judge Smith Murphey on Dec. 11 in an eminent domain case filed for right-of-way acquisition for a bridge replacement project on Hwy. 51 in northwest Yalobusha County.

The Mississippi Transportation Commission filed the lawsuit in the Special Court of Eminent Domain in the Second Judicial District of Yalobusha County seeking acquisition of a small parcel containing 1,438 square feet for the bridge replacement project.

Judge Murphey ruled last month that the commission had met its burden of proof to acquire the property for public use. An independent appraisal was conducted on the property and the value was $2,580.00.

In addition to acquiring the property for public use, the case also included determination of all persons having a legal or equitable interest in the property. The court determined through evidence presented that Gil C. Stafford, Larry D. Campbell, Mitza M. McGraw, Maxey S. Campbell, Carl S. Campbell, David Hugh Campbell and William Patrick were the last owners of record for the property.

Gil S. Stafford, Larry D. Campbell and Mitza M. McGraw each received one-seventh of the value, or $368.57. The other four owners were no longer living and their heirs received smaller portions of the appraised value ranging from $122.86 to $184.29.

The bridge spans Yocona River and has been closed since April, 2022. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will open bids on January 24 for the bridge replacement project.

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