Mystery of the 'white dome' uncovered

PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - Have you seen the huge white dome on the north side of the Mississippi River Bridge? It's 120 feet tall and 200 feet in diameter.

Soon it will hold 40 tons of wood pellets. "This is a wood pellet transfer facility this is basically a new industry in our state. Making wood pellets taking timber and crushing it and pulverizing it and smashing it into pellets which will be used to replace coal fired burners," says Greg Johnson the director of business development at the Greater Baton Rouge Port.

"It's just compact storage basically because each dome is designed to hold about 40,000 tons of pellets. There will be a second dome here in another couple of weeks so we will have 80,000 tons here which we can hold over a vessel load," added Johnson.

The dome is actually inflated and will be reinforced with steel pipes then sprayed with a liner that is similar to swimming pools. When the dome was inflated last Thursday West Baton Rouge Sheriff Mike Cazes got involved with traffic on the bridge.

"I deployed my whole motorcycle division to work the interstate bridge that morning and as it was going up in the air everybody was calling and saying what's going on and this is the results of what went on that morning," says Cazes.

The other dome is set to go up in a few weeks.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.