Copiah County bridge closed after vehicle causes significant damage

Published 8:30 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

A Copiah County bridge has been closed due to significant damage caused by an over-height vehicle.

On Wednesday, March 20, the Mississippi Department of Transportation was forced to shut down the State Route 28 bridge over the Pearl River at the Copiah/Simpson County line after it was struck by an over-height vehicle traveling westbound, causing significant structural damage.

“This closure is necessary to ensure the safety of all commuters, residents and travelers. It will allow our crews to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage and perform the necessary repairs to ensure the safety and stability of the bridge,” said Mississippi Transportation Commission Chairman Willie Simmons. “This is going to inconvenience many drivers, but our priority, as always, is the safety of everyone that utilizes this route. Please allow our crews the time and space to properly assess this damage and make these critical repairs.”

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The bridge is an 80-year-old steel truss bridge with a vertical clearance of 14.9 feet. The over-height vehicle traversed roughly a third of the bridge before it stopped, striking several sway bracings and damaging load-bearing components of the bridge.

Officials anticipate the repair process to last approximately six to nine months, which entails damage assessment, designing the repairs, utilizing an emergency bid process and hiring a contractor to perform the work. Repairs are currently anticipated to cost more than $2 million and will involve the repair and replacement of damaged steel components.

“We understand that this closure disrupts travel plans and daily routines. Every effort will be made to expedite the repair process and reopen the bridge as soon as it is deemed safe to do so,” said Simmons. “In the meantime, we kindly ask for your patience and cooperation.”

Traffic is advised to detour using State Route 27, U.S. 84 and State Route 13. Drivers are advised to allow additional travel time and exercise caution while navigating through the alternate routes.

Stay updated on this project and others by downloading the MDOT Traffic mobile app, visiting and following @MississippiDOT on Facebook and X.