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Highly-trafficked bridge remains closed ahead of LSU move-in day

2 months 5 days 1 hour ago Friday, August 10 2018 Aug 10, 2018 August 10, 2018 6:12 PM August 10, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - One of the most-traveled streets on LSU's campus won't be ready for Sunday's move-in day. Crews are even saying East State Street could still be shut down for the opening of school.

The sign says it all: State Street is only open to local traffic.

"They work very slow," Professor Arturo Saurez told WBRZ.

Saurez normally travels to work by car, but lately it's by foot.

"This is very complex, because a lot of colleagues need to use this bridge."

Suarez says he's eagerly awaiting for the bridge to reopen. He believes the construction site is unsafe.

"I spent more time going to the school, and there's a lot of traffic here, we need to turn around in order to arrive on time."

Chief Engineer Tom Stephens told News 2 the problem all began when engineering found support structure problems under the 58-year-old bridge.

"With time, they rot," Stephens said. "They are subject to all those damages."

Another support issue was found at the right side of the bridge. It also needs repairs to make it safe. But recent bad weather is only delaying the process, and it's been a wet summer.

"We get rain everyday," Stephens added. "We had to work with electrical equipment drills and hammers."

With heavy rain, the bridge can fill up to at least five feet of water. It'll take crew members half of a day to pump out, which is only adding to the delay.

"We need to open the bridge very soon," Professor Suarez said.

Stephens says all support structures are fixed. The final step in the project is placing another concrete structure to connect the bridge to the road.

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