The Sunshine Bridge is expected to reopen one lane of traffic in mid-December, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced this morning.
DOTD crews have begun installing concrete barriers on the westbound side of the bridge in preparation of opening one lane of traffic in each direction by the middle of next month, the department says in its latest bridge repair update.
Meanwhile, work will continue on installing a new replacement cord, which is one of the main load-bearing members of the bridge. DOTD is also reviewing the design and developing plans for secondary member repairs that are necessary to completely restore the bridge.
The Sunshine Bridge is still expected to fully reopen in January, as previously announced.
“We understand the frustrations of the motorists who rely on this bridge as a primary travel route, as well as those who have seen the impact of added traffic congestion in their areas, which is why we are preparing to open one lane of traffic on the westbound side of the bridge,” says DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson. “Though opening up a travel lane won’t alleviate all of the traffic issues, it will help to improve overall mobility throughout the region.”
The Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville has been closed since Oct. 12 when a crane-carrying barge slammed into the Mississippi River span, causing substantial damage.