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Officials Push for More Funding For Transportation

By Evelina Burnett | Published 21 Jun 2013 10:33am | comments

About a quarter of Mississippi’s locally or county-owned bridges are considered structurally deficient. The estimated cost of repairing them is nearly $900 million. State and county officials are pushing for a solution to this problem.

When it comes to bridges, structurally deficient is a pretty technical term – it reflects a rating of the bridge’s condition and whether it can bear modern weight loads. But in Amite County, supervisor Butch Graves says structurally deficient bridges mean some school buses have to take much longer routes to pick up children. 

About 2,000 of Mississippi’s county and locally owned bridges are structurally deficient. Officials say that at current funding levels, it take 30 years to repair or replace them all. Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall says transportation funding just hasn’t kept up with costs.

Hall says the picture is similar on the state’s highways -- a quarter are in very poor condition today. He says the state needs to come up with a plan to pay for the much-needed repairs.

Hall spoke at a conference of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors this week in Biloxi. A Senate transportation task force is studying ways to increase transportation revenues and will give recommendations to the legislature in January. 





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