ARNAUDVILLE, La. (KLFY) — With bridge work over the Bayou Portage appearing to have stopped half way through, News 10 spoke with St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard to find out why.
“So of course the bridge was in dire straits, it needed some help and needed some repairs. So we’ve taken off the top layer and are changing out some seals,” Bellard said. “It’s going to cost the parish about $165,000 to do that but it’s a much needed bridge.”
Bellard said more safety concerns were discovered after work on the bridge began.
“When you start taking the upped decking off the bridge, you start seeing other things underneath that you wouldn’t normally see, so they found some other problems,” Bellard said. “So they are fixing these problems, we had to order more parts and more wood.”
Ordering new parts has added six weeks to the project, and Bellard said he wants ensure the bridge is safe and durable when residents can cross it once again.
“When you’re used to traveling that route on a daily basis to and from work or whatever else you need to do, I can see why it would be a pain,” Bellard said. “We try to put everything in a safe manor. If somebody lets us know something is not right, the inspectors go out and see that it’s not safe, we have to close the bridge. I’m about closing it and repairing it right away because it’s somebody’s transportation route and it’s also a route for emergency vehicles, so I want to get it open as soon as we can.”
Bellard said the bridge is expected to open in four weeks.