JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County Board of Supervisors said they are actively working to reopen bridges closed during the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s mandated closure.
WDAM reached out to State Aid Engineer Harry Lee James in a previous interview, who said the bridges were closed due to a lack of communication from county officials.
“The county is asked to notify us if one is to be closed, that it has been repaired and they would like to reopen it,” James said on Thursday.
However, county officials say otherwise.
Jones County Supervisor David Scruggs, of Beat Four, said 26 bridges were repaired in his beat last year. When it came to the five that were closed in his beat, he was not given notice.
“They don’t tell us exactly what they want done,” said Scruggs. “They don’t tell us when they’re coming to inspect them. They’re not communicating hardly none with us. They just tell us to close them and that’s it.”
Scruggs said on the day of the closure, the county received a phone call around 12:30 p.m. ordering them to close 11 bridges within 30 minutes.
He said three of the five bridges in his beat alone already had repairs done, and they were ready for re-inspection.
“They’re not telling us what’s wrong with them or nothing,” said Scruggs. “It’s like they just came down here and picked five out and told us to close them.”
Scruggs said he understands there are infrastructure issues within the county, and he’s asking the public to be patient as they work to finish any remaining repairs to reopen the bridges.
“I got 26 I fixed last year,” said Scruggs. "We’re fixing them as fast as we can with what money we got to repair them with. "