2 counties sue Mississippi governor over bridge closures

MGN Online

Supervisors in two Mississippi counties filed a lawsuit Thursday against Gov. Phil Bryant, saying he overstepped his authority by ordering the closure of more than 100 bridges across the state.

Posted: May 4, 2018 9:32 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Supervisors in two Mississippi counties filed a lawsuit Thursday against Gov. Phil Bryant, saying he overstepped his authority by ordering the closure of more than 100 bridges across the state.

The bridges he closed are locally maintained. In issuing his executive order last month, Bryant said they were structurally unsafe.

RELATED: Gov. Bryant orders bridge closures across state

The lawsuit against Bryant was filed by supervisors from Jasper and Smith counties in south Mississippi.

"The alleged conditions of the bridges on the county roads do not constitute a state of emergency or 'state of disaster' so as to suspend the constitutional jurisdiction of the board of supervisors of Jasper County and Smith County over the county roads and bridges," the lawsuit says.

In response, Bryant said independent inspectors found the bridges to be unsafe.

"I refuse to sit idly by and risk loss of life," Bryant said in a statement Thursday. "Had counties done their job, I would not have had to exercise my authority, which will protect the very people who elected these supervisors."

The closures came roughly two weeks after Mississippi legislators ended their nearly three-month session without agreeing on a long-term plan to put more money into improving highways and bridges. Bryant has said he will call lawmakers into special session if House and Senate leaders can agree on a funding plan.

The lawsuit was filed in Hinds County Chancery Court because the capital city, Jackson, is in Hinds County. It is also against the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

The lawsuit says the transportation and public safety departments "without notice to the board of supervisors, used various methods to block access to the bridges on the closing list. Some of the bridges were blocked by dumping piles of dirt on both sides of the bridges."

The suit also says the methods of closing the bridges and the signs posted do not comply with the state Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16560

Reported Deaths: 794
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
Copiah3294
Jackson31415
Attala31118
Yazoo2964
Newton2884
Lincoln28031
Leflore27736
Oktibbeha27314
Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
Itawamba897
Marshall873
Wilkinson859
Panola843
Montgomery841
Webster844
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun674
Amite661
Walthall640
Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18766

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
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