November 24, 2020

State’s crumbling infrastructure needs help – now

Mississippi’s crumbling infrastructure needs quick attention.

Last week the Mississippi Department of Transportation mandated the closure of more than 60 bridges that were supposed to have been closed earlier due to structural concerns.

The Federal Highway Administration mandated the closure of state bridges deemed unsafe and put the loss of approximately $530 million in federal highway funds on the line if they didn’t comply.

At the end of the day, Mississippi should be ashamed that its leadership has allowed the state’s infrastructure to get in such shape in the first place.

And Mississippi certainly should never be in a position in which the federal government has to threaten to pull funds in order to get the state to do the right thing.

The 2019 Legislature closed on Friday, paving the way for the state election campaigns to gear up at full speed.

We hope (and urge) those seeking state leadership positions to commit to fixing Mississippi’s infrastructure problems.

Whether the solution is a gas tax increase or something else, we need a plan to get our highways and roads back in good shape for the safety of our residents and for the economy we need to grow and foster.

This opinion piece was originally published in The Natchez Democrat