It’s only April and the 19th bridge of the year has already been closed in Louisiana. One of the more significant closures is on LA 4 at Castor Creek in Bienville Parish. A bridge which serves commuters, logging, and fracking trucks. A 20-mile detour will be required for commuters which use the bridge daily to travel to work.
Here is the full list of bridge closures in 2019:
1. St. Landry Parish on Jessie B Rd. over Bayou Mallet
2. Sabine Parish on Tobe Nabours Rd. over Toledo Bend Tributary
3. Lafayette Parish on LA 1252, Bayou Point Burle
4. Intracoastal Waterway Bridge in Port Allen Parish on LA 1
5. Claiborne Parish on LA 534
6. Madison Parish on LA 577 over Joe’s Bayou
7. Claiborne Parish on LA 534
8. Claiborne Parish on LA 534
9. Red River Parish on LA 507
10. Bienville Parish on LA 9
11. East Carroll Parish on LA 585
12. Franklin Parish on LA 577
13. Iberia Parish on LA 86
14. Vermilion Parish on LA 82
15. Vernon Parish on LA 399
16. Union Parish on LA 151
17. Morehouse Parish on LA 134
18. Bienville Parish on LA 4
19. St. Landry Parish on Little Teche Rd.
Of the 12,000-plus bridges in the state of Louisiana, thirty percent are 50 years old and thirty percent are load posted, meaning there is a weight limit on the bridge. Load postings prohibit large trucks from using bridges, creating burdens on businesses trying to transport goods and supplies. Rural businesses and commuters are hit hardest by decaying roads and bridges.
Bridges will continue to close and drivers will keep experiencing delays until a bill is passed which provides the necessary funds to make the much-needed improvements. HB 542, a comprehensive road and bridge funding bill, is currently in the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee. It has been 30 years, we cannot wait another year for reform. HB 542 not only provides more funding, but ensures newly acquired dollars will not be used for salaries, but strictly for roads and bridges improvement projects.
Map of closed bridges throughout the state: