The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has reopened the State Route 12 bridge over the Sunflower River at the Humphreys-Washington county line.
MDOT was forced to close the bridge on November 3 after it was struck by a truck hauling scrap metal. After running a thorough analysis on this bridge, it was concluded that the bridge could be reopened without any posting restrictions as long as there is no further damage.
“The bridge is slated for replacement in 2020; so, to further save taxpayer dollars, crews will only repair the bridge back to the condition it was before being struck last week,” said Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “However, a repair plan is being pursued to be executed in an accelerated, emergency manner. As soon as a repair plan is in place, a proposal will be advertised, bid and executed as quickly as possible.”
The bridge is open, and there will be no extra weight limit restrictions. Large loads over 13.5 feet in height are strongly discouraged from using the route. Message boards will remain in place to prevent log trucks and scrap metal haulers with larger loads from utilizing the route.
“I applaud MDOT’s bridge crews for the swift response taken to get this critical bridge back open for local motorists,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. “Although the bridge is open and safe for travel, if it takes any further strikes, crews will be forced to close it again. Trucks carrying large loads should avoid utilizing this bridge and find an alternate route.”
While the damaged part of the bridge has a significantly reduced load carrying capacity, there is still enough remaining capacity for the bridge to be opened to traffic without a posting limit. Bridge crews will be inspecting the damaged portion on a weekly basis until the bridge is repaired.