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Scrap metal thieves stealing bridge supports

CHICKASAW COUNTY — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeking assistance from the public with any information concerning the removal of steel support “H” pilings from state and local bridges in Chickasaw County.

The pilings provide support for the bridges.  The removal of any piling puts the motoring public at risk.

It is vital that all piling remain in place to ensure that the bridge is capable of carrying the daily loads.

“This was an irresponsible and dangerous act. Thankfully the vandalism was noticed before anyone was injured,” said Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert.

MDOT interim executive director Melinda McGrath stated, “Gone undetected, this could have been a very serious situation and ultimately have caused the bridge to fail. It is believed the steel was removed and sold as salvage.”

MDOT has increased efforts to check vulnerable bridges more frequently for acts of vandalism. However, due to the large number of state and local bridges the agency is asking for public assistance. It asks all motorists to be aware of suspicious activity near any bridges and immediately report this information to local law enforcement agencies.

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