Bridge replaced, DOTD orders work redone on Lovett Road

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Residents in Central describe it as a bridge in bad shape. Last year, the timber pilings on the Lovett Road Bridge were replaced with concrete culverts. Since then, the state found more problems. Tuesday, the road is getting ripped up again.

Lovett Road is one that many drivers use as a cut through, to get from Sullivan Road to Joor Road.  David Barrow, spokesman for the City of Central, says 3,500 cars travel that way every day. For the next three to four weeks, the traffic will need to find another way around.

"[We] have to pull up the roadway, the base, and do an investigation as to why the project failed basically," said Jodi Conachen, with the Department of Transportation and Development.  She says the contractor in charge has done several phases of work on the bridge over the last year.

When the timber piles were replaced with box culverts, the road on top was also redone.
Barrow says that work finished up around September or October of last year.  Even after the bridge was replaced, DOTD did not give its approval of the final product.

"DOTD has not accepted final work from the first one. I came out here several times to do final inspections and have noticed several problems," said Barrow. Problems that all parties have decided need to be fixed now, with all traffic rerouted.

"The pavement is buckling so we're having issue with cracking in pavement," said Conachen.

Barrow says several big potholes started developing where things were settling.  He says after heavy rains, the road appeared to be sinking in places.  Those holes were patched in the last couple weeks, but neighbors in the area say the drive is not smooth.

So crews will be busting up the road again.

"Once they get in there we'll have some answers of what the issue is and why we're having cracking," Conachen said.

DOTD says they'll be inspecting every step, to figure out where the problem is - with the design plan or the work that was done.

DOTD says the original project cost $311,000.  The cost to re-do the work is still up in the air.  We're told whoever is determined to be at fault will be the one to get the bill.

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