MDOT Exeuctive Director discusses bridge repair and replacements

MDOT Exeuctive Director discusses bridge repair and replacements

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The bridge project that shut down portions of I-20 in recent weeks has been completed ahead of schedule.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation Executive Director Melinda McGrath wants to thank you. A lot of planning went into the I-20 bridge project, but they knew it would mean extra planning on your part as a driver.

“We don’t decide to shut down, especially a major interstate, lightly,” explained McGrath.

The project consisted of hydro-blasting the existing bridge deck and pouring new concrete on both the eastbound and westbound portions over Lynch Creek in Jackson. A process that will extend the life of the bridges for 50 years.

“We have had to really take a hard look at what can we do to preserve what we have and make it last longer," noted McGrath. "This is a prime example of we didn’t wait too long.”

Sure, it’s an inconvenience when your usual route is changed, but, remember, it’s your tax dollars paying for these types of projects. And McGrath say she expects more of this type work to save and stretch those dollars.

“I think whether we have additional funding or not, you’re going to see more of this type of work," said McGrath. "Anytime we can do a full closure, it does a couple of things. One of course, it is safer. It’s safer for the public and it’s safer for the workers. And it also speeds up the time the contractor is on the job which that saves the taxpayers lots of money.”

MDOT has also received $20 million in grants this year that will allow for full bridge replacements. Some of that money is going to counties that are in need of infrastructure funding.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.