MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — A deteriorating bridge in south Mississippi will soon be replaced.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is providing the City of Meridian with $3.5 million to replace the Old Highway 80 bridge, The Meridian Star reported.

Hugh Smith, director of the city's public works department, said MDOT has approved plans for the project that he hopes will be completed as quickly as possible.

The existing bridge has several points of deterioration and does not meet safety guidelines, Smith told officials in February. Smith said the city is in the process of acquiring additional property, as the new bridge has a different footprint than the existing one and will be a little bit longer than the original one.

Smith said the project ran into delays because the design had to be approved by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The bridge — a metal truss structure — is historic because of the time it was built and its design, he said.

“If you look at the bridge itself, you don’t see many of those today from that era of construction,” Smith noted.

He said that when construction starts, traffic on U.S. Route 80, will be re-routed.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The Meridian Star.

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