Bridge near LSU remains closed ahead of fall semester start
BATON ROUGE – A traffic headache near LSU is going to get worse. Crews are still fixing a bridge on East State Street, a road students use to get to campus, and classes start on Monday.
“It’s been pretty terrible because I bike everywhere and I work on Highland Road and you can't walk across it or bike across it,” said Ysabella Ramirez who lives on East State Street.
Work began one month ago. The Chief Engineer with East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works says the bridge was built 58 years ago, and it's not fit to support the traffic anymore.
“The pilings had rotted, and when we put everything back together we noticed there were some other members that needed to be changed too,” said Tom Stephens.
Stephens says rain and additional support problems has extended the work.
“I think they had all summer to do it and they picked the wrong time,” said Melissa Chadborn.
Those who live along the heavily traffic road say the timing of the work is not ideal.
“I don't know why they started at the end of the summer right before school starts when it’s going to be busy,” said Ramirez. “It’s really annoying, I don't know why they did that.”
With the fall semester starting, Ramirez says the construction is going to create a traffic mess.
“It's going to be pretty hectic,” said Ramirez. “I'm scared to see what it's going to be like when school starts because it's already annoying now with basically no one here, so it’s going to get a lot worse.”
But, Stephens says the work has to be done.
"In a situation like this near a school, particularly LSU, we take it very serious and don't spare any expenses in overtime to keep people working 7 days a week as long as they can to get this thing fixed,” said Stephens.
The last step is for crews to lay down asphalt. They hope to finish by Tuesday, weather permitting.