Bridges: Mississippi's crumbling infrastructure - - Jackson, MS

Bridges: Mississippi's crumbling infrastructure

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
source: WLBT source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This week work has finally begun on the bridge on Hanging Moss road, closed last year after it was ruled unsafe. 

According to the Mississippi Economic Council who recently did a study on the safety of bridges, there were 3,925 state and local bridges that needed repair in 2015. A number that's likely gone up, because of time.

"There's always the fear of a bridge collapsing," said MEC Vice President Scott Waller. "The last thing you want to have happen is a collapse, being a school bus or vehicle on it, and it causes injury or harm to someone. That's one reason why there's so much attention being put on bridges."

Waller helped compile the Excelerate Mississippi Bridge report. He says there are nearly 200 posted bridges meaning they are still open, but can't carry the loads they were originally designed for.

"It's not necessarily neglect," added Waller. "They're keeping the bridges functional in terms of you can still use them, it's just we don't have the money to replace a bridge that maybe is to the point where you really need to replace it if you're trying to address the issue."

Age is one of the biggest contributing factors to many of the bridges demise. Bridge supports become aged, weathered, and weak, threatening the strength of the roadway above.

So why are so many bridges closed at the same time? One reason is funding. The MEC report says it would cost over 3 billion dollars to fix all the bridges at once, which is why many repair projects are staggered.

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