Sunshine Bridge reopens after bad weather stalls repairs

Sunshine Bridge reopens after bad weather stalls repairs
Repairs being made to the Sunshine Bridge (Source: WAFB)

UPDATE: Sheriff Bobby Webre reports that the Sunshine Bridge is now open after its scheduled weekend closing so contractors could install important support pieces to the metal truss bridge.

The repairs, which must happen under and along the bridge more than 100 feet above the river, were delayed last weekend due to poor weather.

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DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Officials with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) have rescheduled the closure of the Sunshine Bridge after bad weather in the forecast delayed the initial planned closing the weekend of January 19 and 20.

The closure is now scheduled to start at 6 a.m. Saturday, January 26 and last until 5 a.m. Monday, January 28.

Officials initially announced Monday, January 7 that they would have to close the Sunshine Bridge again in order for certain repairs to be completed.

Detours will be set up for drivers. Those traveling on LA 70 West will turn onto LA 3125 South to LA 3123 South to cross the Veterans Memorial Bridge to LA 3127 North to LA 70. Those heading on LA 70 East will turn onto LA 3127 South to LA 3123 North to cross the Veterans Memorial Bridge to LA 3125 North to LA 70.

Officials said the fabrication of the new diagonal bracing for the bridge is complete. They explained the closure is necessary for the installation of the diagonal bracing and gusset plates, which are thick pieces of steel that connect various structural members.

“With the start of a new year, we’re eager to get the emergency repairs completed so we can move forward on the previously planned project that will make this bridge safer and will extend its life,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “Crews have been working hard and we’ve made significant progress, but we can’t rush the remaining repairs.”

They added the Plaquemine ferry will run extended hours during the closure. Below is the ferry schedule for the weekend:

  • Boat 1 - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Boat 2 - 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ferry hours will return to normal Monday morning.

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DOTD added periodic lane closures will continue until the repairs are complete, which is expected to happen in late January or early February.

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