Mollylea Bridge opening delayed, to open soon
BATON ROUGE - Weather and unforeseen issues has pushed back the opening of a Mollylea Bridge, which is now scheduled to open Wednesday.
The bridge, located off of Sharp Road in Baton Rouge, has been closed since July 2016 and drivers are anxious for it to reopen.
While it's been under construction, Greg Bradley says people have been using his street as a cut through.
"Cars on my street have tripled," he said.
When it's open, Bradley says he typically drives over the Mollylea Bridge at least four times a week.
"It's a lot easier than going out on Goodwood and coming back down Sharp and all that," he said.
The bridge may look almost complete, but there is still work to be done. The City-Parish Department of Public Works says while under construction the contractor ran into utility issues and was impacted by weather, which changed the completion.
Diamond B. Construction is working on the Mollylea Bridge, Claycut Road Bridge over Wards Creek and has completed Albert Drive Bridge over Jones Creek. The total bid cost for all three projects was about $2 million. The City-Parish says when it bids multiple bridges, the cost of materials for the contractor saves tax payer dollars.
The contractor had 365 days to finish all three bridges, with a start date of July 2, 2016. Under the contract, Diamond B. Construction is eligible for extension time due to weather, utilities and other items. Due to the weather and utility issue at the sites for Mollylea and Claycut, the contractor requested additional days and was granted 45 extra days. Based on the extension of time granted, the new completion date is August 15, 2017 for all three bridges.
Based on inspections, the City-Parish says the Mollylea Bridge was planned to open Tuesday, July 25. The opening will not be final completion of the job because there is minor work yet to be completed. The top guardrails on each side will need to be installed after they were ordered and did not fit. Striping of the bridge will need to be completed and general cleaning of the site will be done. The bridge will open before all the work is complete since the remaining work does not require total bridge closure.
Bradley, who says he's been watching the progress closely thinks it should be open by now.
"This has been sitting like this since the middle of last week," he said.
The City-Parish says while a Tuesday opening date is likely, weather could change that.