HOLDEN, LA (WAFB) - Delays have kept the bridge on James Chapel Road in Holden closed. In September 2013, construction started on replacing the wooden structure with concrete. Now, eight months later, the work is still not done.
"If they did their job the way they're supposed to, you wouldn't be here today," said James Fuller, just one of several people who live in the area, on the edge of exasperation. "Yea, I'm frustrated. But I'm not the only one."
In May 2013, 9 News was told by the Livingston Parish Public Works Director, Sam Digirolamo, that the bridge had been deemed one of the worst in the parish. Fixing it was given top priority by the parish. A federal grant allowed the James Chapel Bridge and six others to have work done. The Department of Transportation and Development was in charge of the dividing up the funding. Digirolamo says the state contracted the work out.
In previous reports, neighbors around James Chapel Road told 9News they had been assured the work would be complete by Thanksgiving. Then came Christmas and the New Year.
In February, crews found they had used bad material to fill in the bridge's foundation. That had to be taken out and redone.
"I heard yesterday, from a guy wearing high dollar clothes, it's going to be another week and a half," said Fuller.
The latest delay, workers drove dump trucks over the bridge to make sure everything was stable. They found three foot wide sections, where the bridge shifted while the trucks were still on it.
With any luck, the DPW director says in four to five days, asphalt will be down and the guard rails up and the road will be ready for traffic.
Fuller says he'll believe it, when he sees it.
"Just get the job done."
One of the residents has started a Facebook group, James Chapel Bridge, to keep everyone up to date on the delays.