The public is no longer allowed to drive along the state road or use its jogging trail. It's a situation the Navy says is absolutely necessary for security, and that's an opinion state transportation commissioner Wayne Brown agrees with.
"The protection of this bridge, of the military base, is important and overrides any other issuem," Brown said.
One of those issues is security versus public property. The causeway cost more than $18 million to build, and Jackson County residents paid for most of that. The county invested more than $13 million in the bridge, while the city of Pascagoula and state of Mississippi paid the rest.
Commissioner Brown says tax payers are still getting a retun on the investment.
"We have Navy base here that not only provides employment, but also provides safety for out great ship building industry," Brown said.
"I think it's unfortunate that the public has lost the access, but in truth, the public really didn't have any access to the Navy base anyway," Supervisor Tim Broussard said.
He says the bridge should stay in hands of the U.S. Navy, as long as they feel the extra security is needed. But he believes the Navy should now help pay for bridge maintenance.
"We put the money up for it, and they took it over. I think they would have to step up, I'm afraid, and take care of the bridge. It's hard to keep asking the public for maintenance and repairs when we have no access at all."
"I'm sure we can work something out with the Navy, that they can keep it clean or we can clean it with them," Brown said.
Navy officials didn't want to comment on the bridge for security reasons, but did say it would continue control for the foreseeable future. The Navy and the Coast are patrolling the bridge and Singing River Island 24 hours a day.
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