Dozens welcome new year with Sunshine Bridge bonfire
GONZALES - An Ascension Parish family figured out the perfect way to say goodbye to 2018. They spent weeks building a massive replica of the Sunshine Bridge, and Monday night they burned it down.
“It’s not meant to aggravate anyone, it’s just a little jab,” laughed Courtney Laiche.
Laiche, along with other family members have been building wooded items and setting them on fire for 18 years, and they don't hold back.
“We've built helicopters, tanks, we've done a ship, a Winnebago. We've done tiger stadium,” said Jason Pugh.
This year, the group decided to build something that affected a lot of people in 2018. They built a massive replica of the Sunshine Bridge. The bridge is 100 ft. long and 20 ft. tall.
“We kinda knew we had to go this big, if we went any smaller, it wouldn't have any detail to it,” said Laiche.
The Sunshine Bridge closed in October after a barge and crane knocked into it forcing drivers to take long, out of the way routes to work or school.
“It took a normal 30 to 40 minute drive across the river and turned it into 2 hours plus,” said Pugh.
One lane going each direction has since been reopened.
“Hopefully the bridge gets fixed real soon and we open up all four lanes,” said Laiche.
Until then, the group is remembering the event by watching their version go up in smoke. It’s a clever way to close out the year. One only those in southern Louisiana can appreciate.