ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – In St. Mary Parish, The Bayou Ramos Bridge in Amelia was struck by a barge in 2021 and has motorists worrying about the safety of the structure and how long will it take for the necessary repairs to come.

A barge struck the bridge in the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2021. Since then, the side of the bridge where it was struck has been closed down because of the structural damage underneath.

“We have the west side that’s open to traffic, and we are using a temporary signal where we are allowing bi-directional traffic. There is no traffic going along that east side,” said Deidra Druillet with the Department of Transportation.

Some motorists said they are not sure about the security of the bridge considering the damage dealt.

“I would consider it dangerous. The roads need to be redone. A lot of stuff on this bridge needs to be redone really,” said one resident.

Other residents mention how some people are impatient with how long construction on the bridge is taking to begin because of the stop and go traffic being utilized for safety measures. Druillet said this is something the department is taking into consideration.

“You want to make sure that when it is done, it is done right. So of course, it takes time for our engineers to look at a plan and design a project,” said Druillet.

The department plans to begin fixing the structure in late Fall.