STERLINGTON, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the Ouachita Bridge at Sterlington.
This project, which is scheduled to be complete in about three years, will replace the 75-year-old movable bridge on La. 2 across the Ouachita River with a high-rise bridge. Vehicular traffic will no longer have to stop for marine traffic. At least seven thousand vehicles cross the bridge each day.
“The rebirth of this bridge will bring new life to the economies of Union and Ouachita parishes,” said DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry. “It will also be more convenient and much safer than the old bridge.”
While the old bridge had no shoulders, the new bridge will boast 10-foot shoulders and lanes two feet wider than the original 10-foot lanes. Large trucks will have fewer problems crossing this bridge because of the expanded width, Bradberry added.
Stan Elkins, Chamber of Commerce president, served as master of ceremonies for the event, which took place just north of the existing La. 2 Bridge on Old Sterlington Road.
State Senators Robert Barham and Bob Kostelka, and State Representatives Hollis Downs, Kay Katz, Charles McDonald and Mike Walsworth also spoke at the ceremony. The Reverend Curt Auger of Paron Baptist Church provided the invocation. Following the ceremony, the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception at the Sterlington Town Hall.
Jensen Construction Co. is the contractor for the $36.9 million project, and the DOTD project engineer is Marshall Hill.