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Senator says odds of vehicle ferry for Grosse Tete bridge 'very slim'

1 month 2 days 7 hours ago Tuesday, June 11 2024 Jun 11, 2024 June 11, 2024 11:23 AM June 11, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

GROSSE TETE - A state senator is frustrated with the seeming "snail's pace" that repairs for the Grosse Tete bridge seem to be taking almost a week after a boat hit it and, in a moment, created an hour-long detour

Though repairs for the bridge are estimated to take between three and six months, a decrease from Monday's estimate of six to eight, transportation across the Port Allen Lock will be at nearly a standstill. 

State Senator Caleb Kleinpeter said a pedestrian ferry is in the works for now. There are lots set up on either side of the bridge and a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries vessel is stationed to take six people at a time across. 

However, that only solves half of the problem. 

While a meeting held among Iberville Parish officials Tuesday posited the idea of a vehicle ferry, Kleinpeter said the odds of getting one functional in the lock are "very slim."

It's still unclear who will foot the bill for repairs on the bridge. While it's not yet known if the majority of the fault falls on Louisiana's DOTD or the barge company responsible for the boat that hit the bridge, Kleinpeter said right now the distinction doesn't matter: the state will have to pay for repairs regardless until an investigation into the crash is complete. 

Those repairs, while they're not estimated to be as long as initially thought, still can't come fast enough. 

Kleinpeter said the repairs seem to be proceeding at a "snail's pace."

"Here we are, two days away from being a week out, and there is not one piece of equipment staged," Kleinpeter said. 

The senator plans to meet with Governor Jeff Landry to see if Iberville Parish can receive any more aid. 

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