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People feel stuck after barge crashes into bridge

3 years 2 months 3 weeks ago March 02, 2014 Mar 2, 2014 Sunday, March 02 2014 March 02, 2014 8:45 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Troy Gaulden

GROSSE TETE - People in lower Iberville Parish feel stuck after a barge knocked out a bridge over the Intracoastal Canal.

The barge struck the bridge Friday night near Grosse Tete. Now a typically 20 minute drive to cross the canal to Plaquemine will take more than an hour. Most residents depend on the bridge to get to Plaquemine.

"It hurts cause you have to go all the way around to grocery shop, pay bills and do whatever your everyday routine is, and it's putting a hurt on everybody down here," said Donna Sanchez.

"Oh it's crazy, it's crazy. What if the kids have to go see a doctor? You know, what if we need an ambulance out here? I mean there's so many what ifs, and it's just a big inconvenience," said Rachel Stone.

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi says he's spoken with the Department of Transportation and Development who say repairs will take a couple of months. Parish leaders are working on ways to get people across the canal in the mean time.

But residents feel left out to dry without their quickest way across the canal.

"It's bad on the kids for school. It's bad on the commercial fisherman. It's bad on the workers. A lot of people are scared they're going to lose their jobs cause they have to go all the way around," said Sanchez.

"Between schools and people having to get to work, I mean, it's just not going to work for four months. They can do a foot bridge, maybe a little ferry, you know, ferry the kids across. There's got to be a better way than what they're doing right now," said Stone.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the captain of the tugboat who hit the bridge was not cited, and the investigation is closed. The Coast Guard did not say what led to the crash.

Iberville Parish leaders plan to meet Monday morning to discuss the issue. That meeting is not open to the public.

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