DOTD closes bridges for repairs in East Baton Rouge Parish

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The signs on Carey Road in Central warn drivers of a bridge closure ahead. Clifford Nichols is one of those drivers who travels on Carey Road back and forth from work.

"It put me out of my way about two miles.  Two, three miles - it's not bad," said Nichols.

As part of the state's off-system bridge program, DOTD inspects older bridges like the one on Carey Road every two years. The inspection revealed that several vertical piles and horizontal caps, made of wood, required immediate attention.

"DOTD did inspection on this bridge this morning and obviously found enough warrant to have it closed and notified city parish and now parish is closing it until repairs can be made," said Central Chief Administrative Officer David Barrow.

The Carey Road Bridge joins East Baton Rouge bridge closures on McCullough Road - also in Central - the Milldale Road Bridge in the Pride area, and a bridge on Cedarcrest.

"We can replace caps, piles, things like that in-house," said East Baton Rouge Public Works Director David Guillory.

Guillory says once the state labels a bridge in need of repair, the parish has little time to begin work, which is prioritized based on traffic.

"We try to prioritize them according to the amount of traffic that goes over them but some bridges can happen quickly. The Cedarcrest Bridge, for instance, I'd like to have it done over the next two to three weeks," added Guillory.

The four bridge projects will force drivers to find alternate routes and while some motorists will view the closures as an inconvenience, others will tell you they have no issue with safety coming first.

"This isn't a very heavily traveled road and detour route might be a five minute detour to take some other routes but obviously safety comes first," said Barrow.

"Safety is number one. I got to be safe at work, I got a family to live for," said Nichols. "I go to work to take care of my family and I want to see them every evening."

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