JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - We’re following up on a story that we’ve covered extensively in 2018.
The complaints have been similar in all corners of the state this year as more bridges were forced to close, causing residents to add to their commute times and worry about how that could impact their safety in an emergency.
So, how common are these bridge closures as we approach 2019? Here’s what we’ve learned. The total number of closed bridges in the state is up to 512.
More than 17,000 are posted, meaning they have set weight limits for cars and trucks that plan to drive over them.
But what about that money that was earmarked by lawmakers during the August special session? The deadline for cities and counties to submit their applications to the advisory committee was midnight Friday. So, it will still be awhile before that money makes it into the communities waiting for repairs.
Folks who live in a neighborhood off Raymond Road say they’re frustrated with a bridge that’s been closed for months now.
“A three minute drive ends up being about 17-20 minutes," explained Bobbi Williams. "Therefore, a lot of us are late for work, late for school, late for a lot of things that we’re not supposed to be late for because we’re right around the corner.”
But the safety fears also exist.
“People are unaware that this road is closed and if you’re speeding at night and go through this bridge, you’re going to die,” added Williams.
She has elderly neighbors and the thought has crossed her mind about whether those emergency vehicles would also have a longer trip to their homes.
“This is just not a safe environment," said Williams. "This is a one way in, one way out and people did not pay for this. They pay their taxes and this bridge needs to be fixed today.”
Multiple lawmakers say they don’t expect to have another bridge funding bill proposed next session. But they also don’t think this year’s legislation is enough to address all the issues.
To search the bridge status by county, click HERE.