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Completion date, possible tolls for new Miss. River Bridge discussed at Iberville Council meeting

Iberville Parish council members got details on the site selection and how long this process could take for the new Mississippi River Bridge.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Videos show the traffic nightmare caused by a large puddle on I-10 West, as people headed home across the new Mississippi River Bridge during rush hour traffic.

Videos show the traffic nightmare caused by a large puddle on I-10 West, as people headed home...
Videos show the traffic nightmare caused by a large puddle on I-10 West, as people headed home across the new Mississippi River Bridge during rush hour traffic.(WAFB)

So, you may be thinking again of the need for a new bridge. And one official says it could happen by 2031 if all goes to plan.

Because all the options being considered for a new bridge are south of Plaquemine and in the St. Gabriel area, Iberville Parish Council members got details on the site selection and how long this process could take.

“Around three weeks ago, we got the news that all three locations were going to be in our parish, which was a great thing,” Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said.

So now that it is down to three possible locations, the project is moving into the environmental impact study phase, which takes a while.

“And they each will get that same level of detail, and that will help us weed them down to one preferred location. You know we probably will know a little ahead of that 2-year time frame, which preferred location is chosen,” said Kara Moree with Atlas Technical Consultants.

While everyone has a preferred location, there could already be a favorite.

“I think the one that scored the highest out of the three was the Evergreen site, which is just a little north of the two from Shintech, right there a little north of the railroad track,” said Ourso.

“No. I have a preference that we get the bridge in the right location, and we do it soon,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards on June 6.

Even with the $300 million lawmakers approved for a new bridge, that’s not nearly enough. And a toll on the new bridge is still a possibility.

“I’m hearing that. I’m speculating that, and I would think probably so. Somebody got to pay for it,” said Ourso.

Ourso says the bridge will be a gamechanger for Iberville Parish when it comes to attracting new businesses. but for now, he’s just urging everyone to be patient and praying it could be done in 2031.

“At least I can see our work, that there’s a footprint for a bridge here in Iberville Parish, then I’m satisfied. Regardless of whether I see it or not,” said Ourso.

The consultants at Atlas say if the federal agency in charge signs off on it, they will narrow it down to one decision by the summer of 2024.

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