Posted: May 8, 2014 4:13 PM by Troy Gaulden
Updated: May 8, 2014 5:15 PM
WHISKEY BAY - Engineers with the Department of Transportation and Development were out Thursday morning inspecting the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.
This comes after a fiery crash between four 18-wheelers left a couple from Ohio dead. The crash shut down the bridge for parts of last Friday and Saturday.
DOTD engineers say the bridge is safe for everyday travel but minor repairs are needed.
"It spalled (chipped) off some of the concrete, superficial, but nothing to make anything dangerous for the traveling public. It just looks ugly," said bridge engineer David Miller. "What we need to do now in the repairs is reestablish the concrete cover that popped off during the fire so that we can protect that steel from corroding in the future."
The fire led to smoke damage along the right lane of I-10 heading eastbound over the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel in Iberville Parish. The crash also left the bridge with chipped concrete along its guard rail, according to DOTD. Crews inspected the girders under the bridge and found minor damage.
"This particular part of the bridge had a lot of what we call redundancy. There's eight girders underneath there. Three of them had minor damage to them, and inside each one of those girders there's multiple strands, maybe 20 to 30 strands," said Miller.
DOTD says it will review the inspection results and develop plans to make repairs to restore the bridge to its condition before the crash.