ST. LANDRY & LAFAYETTE PARISHES (KLFY) — It feels like repairs just finished on the I-10 bridge and already two more are in need of attention.
The Department of Transportation told News 10 this is to be expected with the constant wear and tear the bridges go through.
Deidra Druilhet, with The Department of Transportation, said, “It’s a situation to where you have aging infrastructure. There are a lot of different factors that can contribute to what happens on our roads and our overpasses and bridges. It’s not a situation where you can pinpoint.”
With bridges currently being repaired on Arnaudville Road and highway 190 in Opelousas, both had issues with the foundation of the road with the Arnaudville bridge having a dip on the roadway and the concrete of the Opelousas bridge breaking apart.
With state bridges having a life span of 50 years or more, many were built multiple decades ago.
Druilhet said the changes in vehicles and simply the increase in traffic over the years can lead to these types of damages.
“When you take into consideration the fact that this infrastructure was built many decades ago, so much has changed since then,” Druilhet said. “A lot of the traffic that you’re seeing is much heavier traffic, much heavier trucks. Not only that, when you take into consideration traffic increase and traffic flow in general, all of those things also contribute to wear and tear on roads and overpasses.”
With the department funding repair work, Druilhet said it’s important for inspection crews to consistently monitor bridges in the state to avoid too many closures occurring at once.
“We try to get ahead of that, we do bridge inspections on our bridges every year or two years or six months depending on the need for that particular piece of infrastructure, we can go ahead and address it as soon as possible to help extend the life of the bridge,” Druilhet said.