Rebuilding Mississippi: What puts a bridge on the closure list?

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Examining bridges with MDOT

Right now in Mississippi, there are 273 closed and posted bridges, two of those bridges were added to the list earlier this year. ​

So the question is: What puts a bridge on the closure list?

In Greene County, the bridge on State Route 42 over the Chickasawhay River dates back more than 50 years, but MDOT closed it back in February.

“The material underneath the bridge had been washed away by the stream to the point when it washed so much of it away that it was​ no longer safe so we had to close it,” said Richard Withers, the bridge inspection program manager. “It was still standing but it was no longer safe for people to drive across it. It’s currently​ being repaired right now. “​

Then in May, MDOT shut down State Route 395 over a creek in Neshoba County after a pile fell. Even though the bridge was still standing, MDOT said it was not safe for people to drive over.

“We had another situation where one of these piles right here — the vertical member,” said Withers. “It was made out of timber or wood and it had fell and we saw that and we immediately closed the bridge.”​

12 News watched the inspection of a four-year-old bridge on Highway 468 in Rankin County that goes through the cycle every two years. ​That bridge is overall in good shape ranking an eight on a 1 through 9 scale.

​There are more than 600,000 bridges that get a routine inspection across the United States, and Mississippi is no different.

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