Sunshine Bridge is back open after repairs, however lane closures are still in place, DOTD says
CONVENT - It was a lonely site Saturday morning as the usually busy Sunshine Bridge sat empty. DOTD closed the bridge Saturday to repair a crack they found in a support beam.
The bridge was expected to be closed through the weekend, but it was reopened around 8:30 p.m. Aug. 27.
However, drivers still saw lane closures.
"Now it's open and repaired but we still have lane restrictions and permit restrictions because of the previously planned bridge inspection that was going on when they found the crack," said Rodney Mallett, spokesperson for La DOTD.
That inspection is expected to be completed sometime this week. However, DOTD expects another lane closure in the future, in order to paint the newly added plate on the bridge.
"We're going to have a lane closure at some point so we can paint it to keep it from rusting, but we got it in place, it's primed and ready to be painted but we just ran out of time Saturday and were going to do that one day this week, hopefully, depending on the weather," said Mallett.
"I'm just happy that it is getting fixed," Jaymes Leblanc, a Baker resident, said.
Drivers like Leblanc who use the bridge every day had to find alternate routes.
"A lot of people have to take that bridge, and a lot of people don't know the way that I know," Leblanc said.
The Baker resident says the closure adds a significant amount of time to his commute.
"I have to go an hour and a half out of the way. Take the Gramercy bridge, take 3127, then go to CF Industries, so it's impacting my life a whole lot," Leblanc said.
But he says he is no stranger to the long commute. This is the third time the bridge has closed for repairs in the last four years. In 2018, drivers found alternate routes for three months after a barge crashed into the bridge.
"They give us updates on the bridge will be closed and the length of time. They usually stick to their word on when the bridge will open back up," Leblanc said.
It's unclear if the damage had anything to do with previous issues.
The bridge was reopened with no lane closures on Aug. 31.
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