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More County Bridges Across Mississippi Deemed Unsafe

More County Bridges Across Mississippi Deemed Unsafe
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(File) Road Closed For Bridge Construction
MPB News

More county bridges across Mississippi have been deemed unsafe. And state transportation officials have been ordered to immediately start closing them. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

There are at least 34 bridges in Mississippi that are dangerous and the Department of Transportation has been directed to immediately close them. Melinda McGrath is MDOT executive director. She says-- Federal Highway Administration officials ---ordered additional inspections of many county-road bridges-- focusing on those supported by timber pilings.

"We were advised that if these bridges were not immediately closed that we would risk losing our federal state transportation dollars which is about $530 million dollars a year," said McGrath. "Even though that funding is very important, the most important thing to us in this state is the safety of our traveling public."

Three bridges are being closed in Holmes County. Alphonzo Greer is with the Holmes County Board of Supervisors. He says families will have to travel at least 10 miles out of the way to get groceries.

"It's going to hurt the farmers out here badly because they're trying to get their crops in," said Greer. "And I have two families on one side of the bridge and three families are on the other side of the bridge and they're going to get impacted badly by this closing."

There is also a bridge being closed in Clarke County. Darrick Marshall is president of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors. He says the closure will impact people going to different parts of the county.

"It does affect day to day operations," said Marshall. "I mean you've got log trucks that have to go around maybe 12 miles another way and some ways another six miles. But when you've got that kind of traffic tearing and wearing on your other roads it does affect your other roads."

The other counties affected by the bridge closures are Bolivar, Hinds, Jones, Washington, Wayne, Wilkinson, and Yazoo.