Repairs began in November (link opens in new tab) and Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) opened the westbound side of the bridge for two-way traffic at the start of December. Since then, crews have been working below the bridge deck repairing cracked welds, replacing damaged bolts and preparing for the replacement of the diagonal bracing.
Remaining work includes the painting and installation of the diagonal bracing and the installation of gusset plates. The painting of the bracing is due to be completed this week with the installation set to take place during weekend of 19 and 20 January.
The emergency repairs associated with the October barge hit are anticipated to conclude in late January or early February but periodic lane closures will continue as previously scheduled repair work needs to be carried out.
“With the start of a new year, we’re eager to get the emergency repairs completed so we can move forward on the previously planned project that will make this bridge safer and will extend its life,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson. “Crews have been working hard and we’ve made significant progress, but we can’t rush the remaining repairs.”