Aug 14, 2011 8:20 PM by Maddie Garrett
More headaches for drivers on U.S. 190 with road closures on the Morganza Floodway bridge taking place the next several weekends. This was the first weekend of construction, and already drivers are talking about the inconvenience.
"My wife's going to beat me home now, I'll be in trouble," said Cecil Swanson, a driver on U.S. 190.
Swanson was on his way home to Port Allen Sunday afternoon, when he ran into some trouble: A "road closed" sign on his route.
"Had no clue that the bridge was closed. So now I got to make another loop around, another hour and a half just to get a 35 minute ride back home," said Swanson.
The Department of Transportation and Development said the work is necessary to place a new epoxy overlay on the bridge, which strengthens and smoothes the road. The construction will require complete closure of one direction of traffic because the equipment being used takes up two lanes.
"It's pretty rough, it's pretty bumpy. If it needs to be done I guess it needs to be done," said Swanson.
This construction also calls for State Troopers to be out at the closures 24/7 while the bridge is shut down to make sure drivers don't try to go across on a different ramp. But some people think there should be more signage warning drivers.
"People ought to be notified ahead of time, instead of going across the river bridge, that it's closed," explained driver Jerry Kimvle.
"It's a bummer when you don't know about it," agreed Swanson.
What's more, this is the second time the Four Mile Bridge has had closures this summer.
"It is a major inconvenience because I use this a lot, how long is it going to be closed?" asked Swanson.
The short answer: Only Friday nights starting at 7:00 p.m. to Monday mornings at 5:00 a.m.
But the eastbound lanes will be shut down August 12 - 15, 19 - 22 and 26 - 29. And westbound lanes will be closed September 9 - 12, 16 - 19 and 23 - 26.
DOTD also says the schedule is subject to change because of weather and working conditions. Suggested detours for westbound traffic is U.S. 190 to LA 415 or LA 77 to I-10 West to I-49 North. Suggested detours for eastbound traffic is I-49 South to I-10 West to LA 77 or LA 415.