Semi trucks banned from bridge because of structural damage, cars still allowed

Transportation officials in Mississippi say that semi trucks are banned from using a busy bridge until further notice after inspectors found serious damage to the bridge structures. On Friday, January 25, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced a commercial vehicle restriction on the U.S. Highway 49 southbound bridge over Richland Creek in Rankin County. MDOT says that the restriction applies to “all 18 wheelers.” The truck ban was put in place because MDOT inspectors discovered damage to the bridge. MDOT says that “the weight of 18-wheeler traffic is causing more damage.” MDOT released the following detour: All commercial truck traffic will need to exit U.S. Highway 49 southbound at the scale area and take the West Frontage Road to Old U.S. Highway 49 back to U.S. Highway 49 southbound. MDOT says that they aren’t sure how long the bridge will be closed to semi truck traffic. The bridge remains open to passenger vehicles. The bridge was constructed in 1965 and carries about 24,000 vehicles per day, according to data from the Pensacola News Journal.

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