DOTD to temporarily close Sunshine Bridge next weekend

The state Department of Transportation and Development will close the Sunshine Bridge to traffic next weekend—Jan. 19-20—for continued repairs.

Work crews will be installing new diagonal bracing on the structure, prompting the closure for the safety of workers and commuters, according to a DOTD press release.

The Sunshine Bridge has been undergoing repairs since Oct. 12 when a crane-mounted barge slammed into the Mississippi River span near Donaldsonville, causing enough damage to shut it down.

Nearly two months later, on Dec. 1, DOTD partially reopened the bridge to traffic, one lane in each direction. Since then, work crews have been working below the bridge deck to repair cracked welds, replace damaged bolts and prepare to replace the diagonal bracing, DOTD reports.

Repairs are expected to be completed in late January or early February, with periodic lane closures continuing until then.

“Crews have been working hard and we’ve made significant progress, but we can’t rush the remaining repairs,” DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says in a statement.

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