It will cost an estimated $2 billion to repair or replace the hundreds of state and local bridges in need of assistance, according to Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Tom King.
There are currently 700 low-weight posted bridges in the state with restricted access. These weight limits increase the price of a trip by forcing farmers, loggers and other businesses to divert truck traffic to longer routes.
It would cost $700 million alone just to repair the low-weight posted bridges, according to Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert.
Mississippi Department of Transportation has said an additional $400 million per year is needed in order to maintain and repair the state’s highways. A report by the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review released in January concurred with this number. Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall has said that the amount needed to maintain the state’s highways is actually much higher, at $1 billion.
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Willie Simmons recently stated, “There are serious concerns from all areas of the state. The impact is hardest on our agriculture community and businesses that cannot travel those highways where bridges are posted.”