The state’s Department of Transportation inspected the bridge with scuba divers and discovered the bridge had structural damage that was located by the divers.
Two wooden pilings located side-by-side in the middle of the bridge were discovered to be in poor condition and needs to be changed.
The state closed the bridge Monday night.
The Police Jury put a couple of loads of dirt on the bridge and barricades in front of the bridge.
The bridge is located in Police Jury President Gerald Butaud’s district. He learned of the closer Monday night.
Butaud said he did not talk to anyone from the state who could tell him what was wrong with the bridge. The Police Jury will get a written report from the state explaining the reason why the bridge was closed.
Depending on how much it will cost will depend on how fast it will be repaired, Butaud said.
Expect the bridge to be closed at least a month and possibly longer.
Old unsafe bridges is nothing new to the Police Jury. The Police Jury is in the process of repairing old bridges in order for them to handle the weight of school buses. In the last year, two bridges in the parish have completely been redone, making them safe for school buses as well as 18-wheelers to cross.
The bridge on Prairie Street was not one of the bridges that was deemed unsafe by the School Board last year. However, now that the bridge is closed, a school bus driver had to alter its route.
Lonnie Trahan, who is in charge of transportation for the School Board, received a phone call from a bus driver informing him about the closed bridge.
“We made adjustments,” Lonnie said.
Traffic is being rerouted to La. 82 until the bridge is repaired.