BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced on Wednesday that it will construct a temporary concrete bridge on U.S. 61 just south of St. Francisville to replace the 54-year-old Grant Bayou West Bridge that is closed because of an embankment failure. The new bridge, which will cost approximately $450,000, should be completed in six to eight weeks, depending on weather conditions.
DOTD crews began demolition of the old bridge on Tuesday. DOTD bridge inspectors closed the bridge Monday evening after an embankment failure threatened the integrity of the roadway approach to the bridge. Automobile traffic is being detoured via La. 966 and La. 965. Commercial truck traffic is being detoured via La. 10 east of St. Francisville and La. 68.
A January 8, 2008 DOTD inspection documented problems with the structure, including some evidence of embankment erosion. Bridge inspectors were monitoring the bridge every month for signs of further deterioration, and an April letting was scheduled for a permanent bridge replacement.
The temporary concrete bridge will be replaced by the permanent bridge. DOTD will reuse the concrete deck segments, barrier rails and support caps from the temporary bridge.