Report: Mississippi road & bridge conditions crisis

Report: Mississippi road & bridge conditions crisis

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Pot holes, cracking roads, or those with patch, work never make for a smooth and pleasant ride.

That's why national non-profit 'TRIP' is examining transportation issues across the nation.

Kiln resident Donna Cuevas said, "I know just the wear and tear on a vehicle just hitting pot holes is not good. It can get costly having to re-align your car every few months."

A transportation report says Coast residents will spend on average about $1,000 a year repairing car damages related to sub-standard road conditions. A resident in the Jackson area will pay almost double that amount.

Cuevas said, "So, it's pretty hard on your car when the roads are this bad."

Poor road and bridge conditions are also a safety hazard. The report ranks Mississippi fourth in the nation; with the highest fatality rate related to street design, shoulder issues in adequate road signage.

TRIP says about 615 people lose their lives in traffic accidents per year.

"Like the problem throughout the country, there is more maintenance needed critical maintenance on roads and bridges than there are funds to get it all done," said county engineer Geoffrey Clemens.

The bridge over Edwards Bayou in Bay St. Louis is one of about 10 throughout Hancock County that have been posted for reduced weight limits. The pilings holding up the bridge are rotting, therefore, no vehicle over 6,000 pounds is allowed to pass over it.

"That pretty much means its restricted to light vehicular traffic regular passenger cars and trucks. Any heavier vehicle - whether it be a semi 18-wheeler, dump truck, school buses, garbage truck - they're really not supposed to be on that bridge," Clemens added.

Clemens says there are more than 50 bridges in Hancock County, and the majority are in good shape. The board of supervisors has plans in place to repair the 10 that need critical work.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.