Workers begin extensive process of repairing Sunshine Bridge
DONALDSONVILLE - The process of assessing and repairing the damage to the Sunshine Bridge is underway.
On Tuesday the Department of Transportation and Development shared a photo of crew members raised above the Mississippi River via crane in order to get a better look at the bridge. DOTD says the workers were getting measurements Monday for a work platform that will need to be built before proper repairs can begin.
The department has been authorized to spend up to $5 million over the course of the repair process, which it says could take months.
“Everywhere I go people are asking me when is the bridge going to be fixed,” said Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan.
Sullivan wanted to relay updated information to his council members Tuesday night, but he couldn't. He says DOTD has been giving the city the latest information through conference calls.
“We're hoping that [Tuesday] we would have gotten an update. Matter of fact, we we're hoping Monday we would get an update but we didn't yesterday,” he said.
In the meantime, he’s telling his constituents to be patient.
“It's very inconvenient, but you know we have to make the best of the situation we're in,” said Sullivan.
The Sunshine Bridge has been shut down indefinitely after it received damage from a barge collision more than a week ago. DOTD is pursuing a claim with the company responsible, Marquette Transportation, to seek reimbursement for the repair costs.
Additionally, DOTD is helping local law enforcement agencies get reimbursement for unplanned expenditures associated the bridge closure.
Due to the closure, the time of traffic lights has been changed at several high traffic intersections that have seen additional traffic volume. Locations include La 3127 at La 20, La 3125 at 3213 and at 3274, and Airline at La 641.
Hours for the Plaquemine Ferry have also been adjusted.