Closures on Mississippi River Bridge as road work begins Friday
UPDATE: All lanes are now open on I-10 East at Exit 153 (Port Allen), according to the DOTD. Congestion is minimal.
BATON ROUGE - Drivers can expect traffic to be worse than usual on the Mississippi River Bridge this weekend as the Department of Transportation begins repairs on the roadway.
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Starting Friday night, the outside eastbound lane will close until noon Sunday. Overnight Friday, the westbound inside lane will close so crews can drop off equipment. More closures will take place the weekend of June 1 as well.
The department says work is necessary to fix the failing approach to the bridge on the west side. Rodney Mallett, a spokesperson for the state, says every time it rains, waters seeps through the road, and sediment accumulates.
"It’s 50 years old, it's been crumbling, and we've been watching it to the point now we're gonna make these emergency repairs,” said Mallett.
The cracks, holes, and buckling were first noticed back in January, and a temporary fix was made.
“When we noticed it, we had to do something immediately, and it held up for quite a while. Now, we're coming in to make the permanent repairs,” he said.
The whole job will cost $600,000. The state will pay ten percent, with federal dollars paying for the rest.
The lane closures associated with the repairs are as follows:
• The first eastbound closure is scheduled for Friday, May 18, from 7 p.m. to noon on Sunday, May 20.
• The westbound inside lane will be closed from 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19.
• The second eastbound closure is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, June 1, through noon, Sunday, June 3.
• No closures are scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend.
Drivers are advised to prepare for delays during the repairs and to take Highway 190, to the old bridge as an alternate route.