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Mississippi Governor declares state of emergency related to locally owned bridges

Staff Writer | October 10, 2018
Governor Phil Bryant signed a proclamation declaring a state of emergency that orders the Mississippi Department of Transportation to immediately close 83 locally owned bridges that have been judged deficient by the federal National Bridge Inspection Standards and the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction.
Old Mississippi bridge
America   The bridges will remain closed until they are in compliance
The bridges slated for immediate closure are in Amite, Carroll, Clarke, Greene, Hinds, Humphreys, Itawamba, Jasper, Jones, Lauderdale, Leake, Lincoln, Newton, Pike, Smith and Wayne counties. The proclamation also applies to bridges that are found to be deficient in the future.

The bridges will remain closed until they are in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and standards.

“These bridges have been deemed unsafe for the traveling public,” Gov. Bryant said. “Keeping them open constitutes an unnecessary risk to public safety, violates the corrective action plan agreed upon by the state and federal government and jeopardizes federal infrastructure funds Mississippi receives.”

In November 2016, the Federal Highway Administration Mississippi Division Office began working with MDOT to review and evaluate the bridges that were identified in the National Bridge Inventory as being in the worst condition, to ensure they were safe to remain open to traffic.

During the week of March 19, 2018, The FHWA Mississippi Division subsequently determined many of the bridges deemed deficient remained open to the public.