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Emergency bridge repairs ordered in West Feliciana

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ST. FRANCISVILLE - Emergency repairs were made just in time to a bridge in West Feliciana, after state inspectors found rotting support timbers.

The bridge just north of Saint Francisville on Island road was in danger of collapse. Crews were given just 24 hours to repair the damage.

Work started Friday morning on wooden beams that hold up the bridge. One of the main structures that provides support was completely rotten.

Public works says rapid crumbling is common in older structures, but this bridge needed an emergency fix because it's the only way out for many residents of the area.

"We have a unique situation here," said Jim Ferguson, Director of Public Works. "The only way out of here with this bridge closed, is through a low water crossing. And with rain coming, we have a very short time envelope."

Crews started work at 8:30 a.m. and finished by 3 p.m. to allow school buses through.

"We have all our forces mobilized on this one project," Ferguson said.

The bridge is inspected at least once a year.

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