Data shows that of the 17,044 bridges in Mississippi, over 13 percent are in need of replacement. (Source: Mike Evans, WLBT)
(Source: Mike Evans, WLBT)
A recent report calls for more funding of Mississippi's aging bridges and roads.
The report conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) says that Mississippi ranks 10th in the nation when it comes to structurally deficient bridges.
MDOT officials say there are 2,274 structurally compromised bridges statewide, and are traveled on approximately 1.2 million times every day.
MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath says, "As funding gets tight what we've had to do is we had to shift new construction programs which ads new 4 lane roads, going from 6 to 8 lanes, to spending our money to preserve our existing roadways."
The bottom line is there isn't enough money to replace old bridges.
The data shows that of the 17,044 bridges in Mississippi, over 13 percent are in need of replacement.
State officials say they spent $64 million dollars on the replacement of 14 bridges, and another $3.6 million to do routine maintenance.
Roadways are also in need of repair according to the report.
A constant inspection of roads and bridges determine if they're still structurally sound to carry traffic.
Weight limits on bridges are dropped as they age, and closed if they're deemed unsafe.
"We run an analysis to determine how much weight the bridge can carry now, and if that comes back and shows us that bridge can no longer carry the legal load, then we post that bridge to carry the load, it is capable of carrying," says McGrath.
State officials say it would take $3.7 billion dollars to repair or replace all the structurally deficient bridges in the state.
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