Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed a proclamation ordering the state transport operator Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to immediately close 83 bridges.

The decision was taken after these locally owned bridges were declared deficient by the federal National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) and the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction.​

This proclamation will also be applicable to bridges found deficient in the future.

Bryant said: “These bridges have been deemed unsafe for the travelling public.

“Keeping them open constitutes an unnecessary risk to public safety, violates the corrective action plan agreed upon by the state and federal government and jeopardises federal infrastructure funds Mississippi receives.”

“These bridges have been deemed unsafe for the travelling public.”

​The deficient bridges set to be closed are located in Amite, Carroll, Clarke, Greene, Hinds, Humphreys, Itawamba, Jasper, Lauderdale, Leake, Lincoln, Jones, Newton, Pike, Smith and Wayne counties.

They will continue to remain closed until they fulfil federal regulations and standards.

In November 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Mississippi Division Office, in collaboration with MDOT, started assessing the bridges which were stated in the National Bridge Inventory as being in the worst condition.

FHWA began working with MDOT and the Office of State Aid Road Construction in March last year to devise and execute an action plan to address NBIS compliance issues for inspection and closure of unsafe bridges.

The plan required the state to employ independent consultants who will carry out the NBIS inspections of all local bridges with timber substructure.

Last month, FHWA Mississippi Division identified the deficient bridges that are now ordered to be closed.