Repairs begin on St. Helena Parish road where bridge was washed out

GREENSBURG, LA (WAFB) - A Greensburg man may soon be able to drive to his house for the first time in two months. Monday, Wiley Bridges, 70, showed 9News how he rigged a foot bridge to cross over a parish owned road with a hole in it.

"I dug around at the house and found what scrap I had. Went and bought some two by fours and put it together," said Bridges. That is the only way for him and his wife to back to their castle in the country. Even after crossing the foot bridge, there's another eight-tenths of a mile to travel before he can reach his front door.

"[It] gets to you after a while. Specially [sic] when you can't get any answers," he said.

Tuesday, we found some promising news. Just one day after meeting the Bridges, we found the sign on the road that reads 'Bridge Out' moved and an excavator where Mr. Wiley's truck had been parked.

"Monday the contractor was supposed to start on Monday," said Major Coleman, the President of the Police Jury. "But again, [we] had a lot of rain so they are on the job today."

Parish workers say they were not neglecting the road but because of bad weather, the schedule had been pushed back. Coleman says the parish ordered new culverts, but does not have the proper equipment to install them.

"Excavator we have didn't have a long enough arm to reach in the bottom of the hole. That's the reason why we're getting a contractor to do the work," Coleman said.

Parish workers will then be able to pack it with dirt, sand and gravel.

Coleman says this same thing happened before on another parish road where several families lived. Emergency funds from the state were used to fix that one. We asked if anyone asked the state about extra funds for this road, Coleman says they were told there was no money.

While the Bridges' issue seems to be getting solved, another issue has come to light. Mr. Bridges' wife suffered a stroke and he's been worried if something were to happen to her again, help would not be able to reach them because of the missing section of road.

"We'll go into emergency mode. We'll get him out," Coleman said. "We don't have a plan per say."

The head of public works for St. Helena says shoddy work the first time the bridge was built, by the parish, is why it washed away.

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