Lack Of Bridge Detour Signs Leaves Many Drivers Confused In Bay St. Louis - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lack Of Bridge Detour Signs Leaves Many Drivers Confused In Bay St. Louis

Signs posted near the bridge in Bay St. Louis offer the only warning that the Highway 90 bridge is closed.

"We're on our way home to Alabama and thought we'd come down 90 and see some of the damage and didn't realize the bridge was out," Alabama resident Beth Smith said.

Beth and Drew Smith are from Auburn. They say they wouldn't have come down to sight-see if they had known the bridge was closed.

"I guess if there had been a sign posted that the bridge was out or that 90 wouldn't go all the way down, we probably would have just stayed on the Interstate."

A sign posted near the Mississippi-Louisiana state line may be contributing to the confusion. It encourages drivers to take the scenic route down Highway 90 to the beach.

"There are no signs anywhere stating that the bridge is out," Jim Martin with the Bay St. Louis Police Department said.

Patrol officers, like Martin, know the problem better than anyone. They get flagged down by out-of-town drivers constantly.

"I'd say three or four or five times, every day."

He says the solution to the problem is simple. The State Department of Transportation needs to put up detour signs.

"Put them up there by the Interstate for these people that are coming out of Louisiana and Texas and coming over here, so they don't make the trip all the way down here for nothing," Martin said.

Residents who live close to the Bay Bridge agree, especially those who often get knocks on their doors from confused drivers.

"Particularly on the weekends, we have a lot of traffic that turns back down this street looking for information. And the GPS systems still indicate that the bridge is functioning, so a lot of people navigating through still think that the bridge is there and of course it's not," Bay resident Chuck Lewis said.

M-DOT's District Engineer Ricky Lee said the problem was an oversight by M-DOT's sign department. He told WLOX News some temporary detour signs will go up within the next few days.

by Al Showers

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