A petition that was filed by Jasper and Smith counties to re-open bridges previously closed by Governor Bryant and MDOT has since been denied by the Hinds County Chancery Court.
“I am pleased with the court’s decision. My only motivation for declaring the state of emergency was to ensure public safety, which will remain my most important responsibility and my highest priority,” said Gov. Phil Bryant
In April, Governor Phil Bryant and Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall announced that over 85 Mississippi county owned bridges would be closed after declarations that the bridges were judged deficient by the federal National Bridge Inspection Standards and the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction.
The Governor declared a State of Emergency related to the locally owned bridges and all were shut down immediately and until further notice.
“We support Judge Singletary’s ruling and appreciate that it recognizes the actions the Mississippi Department of Transportation took, as ordered by Governor Bryant, were necessary to ensure the safety of Mississippi’s traveling public. The Court’s indication that the larger suit is not likely to prevail shows that the proclamation by the Governor was in the best interest of the safety of the people of Mississippi. We appreciate the Governor’s confidence in MDOT to help ensure these deficient bridges would be secured. Public safety is part of MDOT’s mission and always a top priority,” said Commissioners Hall, King, and Tagert.