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DOTD: Bridge rail height not an issue after crash

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Posted: Jul 7, 2014 4:54 PM by Troy Gaulden
Updated: Jul 7, 2014 6:47 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 0.0 (0 votes)

Topics: crash, bridge rails, interstate, Perkins overpass, Perkins Road, DOTD

BATON ROUGE - After a suspected drunken crash sent a truck sailing over the Perkins Road overpass, people who frequent the area see what could happen.

"It's not something that I think about on a regular basis, but this does give me pause to think that an accident can happen," said Celia Strickler.

On Monday, the Department of Transportation and Development said they do not plan to change the height of bridge rails in response to this crash. The bridge rails where the wreck happened sit at 28 inches in height, which DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallett said is a safe height.

"140,000 cars go through that area per day on average daily, and we do not see it as a high accident area," he said.

Mallett says the bridge rails meet the standards for when the bridge was built in the 60s. Business owners under the overpass say they're not worried about another vehicle going over the rails.

"Anything is possible, but am I concerned about it? I can't say it's a high priority. I really can't. I mean anything can happen," said Rodney "Smokie" Bourgeois, who owns George's Restaurant.

Others feel extending the height of the bridge rails could keep vehicles from going off the interstate again.

"I think that anything that can be a deterrent for a vehicle going over is worth while," said Strickler.

Mallett did say that DOTD has retrofitted other bridges in the past to increase bridge rail height.

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