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Grosse Tete draw bridge repairs could last well into the fall, highway officials say

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GROSSE TETE — Louisiana highway officials said Tuesday that it could be well into the fall before repairs are completed on a draw bridge that connects Grosse Tete and Plaquemine.

The Department of Transportation and Development said a contractor is removing mechanical equipment and hydraulic lines from the draw bridge, which was struck by a barge June 6. The collision took the bridge out of service, forcing a 46-mile detour between the west side of the Port Allen Lock and its west side along La. 77.

Unofficial estimates at the time of the collision indicated repairs would be take about three months. In a statement Tuesday, DOTD said that repairs to the bridge could take up to twice that.

"Following the equipment removal, the contractor will focus on repairing the pier itself, a task that is estimated to be complete in 4-6 months. The bridge remains closed to vehicular traffic until further notice," the department said.

Iberville Parish officials are operating a passenger ferry at the scene. Six people at a time can use the vessel between 5-9 a.m. and 3-8 p.m.

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