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Fix for sinking LA 1 bridge to cost millions; project halted until November

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PORT ALLEN - The plan to open a new bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway has been halted for months due to a design flaw that caused the foundation to sink into the ground at an 'unprecedented rate.'

In January, WBRZ was the first to report that the project could be delayed for up to 10 months. By March, the Department of Transportation and Development still did not have a clue as to how much the fix would cost. 

Wednesday, DOTD told WBRZ the critical error could cost millions. 

"That cost is going to be in the $8-9 million range," said Rodney Mallett, a spokesperson for DOTD. 

For the last seven months, crews have ceased construction on the new bridge. It could be months until they start back up again. 

"The specialized metal crew that works on the bridge will not be able to return until the end of October, November," Mallett said. "The crew that was working on this project had another project they were working on. When this project got delayed, they moved on to another project."

The method being used to fix the settling of the structure is called "low-mobility grouting." 

According to DOTD, the cost of the grouting will be tacked on to the total project cost, which was initially $58 million. The money for that will come from federal and state funding.


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