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Study: Mississippi Rural Roads and Bridges in Disrepair

By Daniel Cherry | Published 17 Oct 2011 04:31pm | comments

Rural roads and bridges in Mississippi are some of the worst in the nation. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how those poor conditions extend beyond basic safety concerns.

A report issued by TRIP a national transportation research group, says 16 percent of Mississippi's bridges are structurally deficient. Farris Gibbs of Utility Constructors, a bridge building company says he's seen lots of wear and tear on Mississippi's bridges.

"The main problem is some of the old pylons get to where they crack and the base of the old pre-cast bridges and the rails get to where they're in bad condition over the years."

Housing and business developments could be in danger as well. Mike Pepper is the executive director of the Mississippi Road Builders Association. He says poor bridge conditions can lead to lengthy detours.

"School busses and so forth who regularly use those routes now have to find other ways to get to where they're going whether it's schools or to the marketplace and so forth. There's one reason people are using those ways: because it's a direct route."

Pepper says longer routs become a greater concern for residents as fuel prices remain high.

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