Residents say Firewood bridge closure drags on
UPDATE: Residents tell WBRZ the bridge reopened Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2018.
BATON ROUGE - Bridge closures inconvenience a lot of people, but one bridge in particular has people talking recently. Some residents say they're not sure why their bridge in the Wedgewood subdivision of Baton Rouge is taking so long to finish.
The City-Parish says the wait is coming to an end soon and the contractor is on target to finish the job in the allotted time with additional days built in for weather-related delays.
Steve Rushing has been watching since the project started this past summer after school ended. He says the process is taking longer than he expected.
"Slow, to say the least," said Rushing. "We were told it would be completed sometime before school started in August and as you can see it's still not finished."
The thoughts of Rushing resonate with other people in the neighborhood who are tired of waiting. They say it wouldn't be so bad if there was an easy detour to shopping and Wedgewood Elementary School, but there isn't. Residents living on one side are cut off from access to the school. He says students are not offered bus pick-up because the residents in the neighborhood live so close. It's added additional time to their drive and created a headache for drop-off and pick-up when school is in session.
"Access to O'Neal Lane, to Walmart, to all the stores over there, that's being denied to them they're going to have to go around and catch the interstate or maybe catch Harrell's Ferry."
A crew was working on the project Tuesday which, according to the parish website, will be complete by Friday, Nov. 23. Rushing does not have a positive attitude about that information.
"I just talked to one of the guys working here and he says that it'll be two weeks," he said.
This bridge replacement project is a state-funded. The City-Parish admits the last few weeks with rain has been a problem for dirt work. The project was started on 5/23/18 and was projected to be completed by 11/15/18. The contractor is entitled to weather days during the construction process.