GREENSBURG, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is set to demolish and rebuild the Beaver Creek (LA 10) Bridge, which suffered extensive damage during the August flooding, making the main corridor in St. Helena Parish impassable.
The most significant damage was to the pile embedment, which serves to transfer loads to the subsurface of the bridge. Because of this damage, the bridge is unsafe to drive over and could fail under load or with hydraulic pressure, such as rain events causing water to push against the bridge. The bridge has been deemed unsound and will require a replacement.
"The damages that Louisiana's infrastructure sustained due to the unprecedented floods of 2016 have been a top priority of the department. The decision to entirely replace the bridge as opposed to spending the same money to have a rehabilitated bridge that will be posted (meaning weight-limited) is the best for this community," said DOTD secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. "Further, federal emergency funds are only available for one repair. It would not be prudent to use that money on a temporary bridge and still have to locate state or other funds for a permanent fix. With this solution, we are able to begin the necessary repairs to this important thoroughfare by separating the demolition from construction to save time. I appreciate the collaboration with local and state officials to give the citizens and businesses a new and improved LA 10 bridge."
By mid-January of 2017, contractor River/Road Construction, Inc. will begin removal of the existing bridge. The work will cost approximately $189,000 and should be completed by early spring.
"I'm very excited for the start of the demolition process of the LA 10 bridge. This is an important step to having a new structure in place and helping the citizens of St. Helena and the industries that travel this important corridor return to their normal routine," said Senator Rick Ward III.
After demolition, a replacement project will begin. That project is estimated to cost $2 million.
"We have all worked very hard to get to this point and I am very pleased to see this very critical project moving forward. As an elected official, it was important to assist in delivering this project as LA 10 is the main corridor servicing our area. I look forward to getting the LA 10 bridge back online, so that residents in this district can return to normal. I pushed very hard for a temporary bridge, but was told that the funds were not available. In addition, a temporary bridge would have been load posted, which would have prevented trucks and school buses from crossing the bridge, which would defeat the main purpose of a temporary bridge. Hopefully in the 2017 legislative session we can solve some of the state's budget problems," said Representative Robbie Carter.
All construction is weather dependent and may have to be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. DOTD asks that the public be aware of construction zones and workers during this time period.