NEW ORLEANS -- For a second day in a row, bumper to bumper traffic heading towards New Orleans East and Slidell caused a pain for drivers.

"The Almonaster Bridge has been broke since after the hurricane. They would've opened that up, traffic wouldn't have ever been like this," New Orleans resident Lowell Horn said.

Horn says this traffic nightmare could only get worse if things aren't finished by the holiday.

"If it don't be done by Thanksgiving, we're gonna be in a hell of a run off," Horn said.

DOTD officials say a tire fire Wednesday underneath the high-rise caused damage to the bridge's girders.

"The temperatures can and did reach a point to where to where it could start affecting the strength and physical properties of the concrete," DOTD official Scott Boyle said.

To alleviate the weight on the east bound portion of the high rise, the department shut down 2 lanes yesterday, leading to massive gridlock, as far back as the Superdome.

Now it's a race against the clock to finish repairs, because if this looks bad, add to it the mass movement of drivers for thanksgiving. For now, estimates are repairs will be done by early next week.

"Obviously we're getting close to Thanksgiving. That's going to be a critical time with people leaving town," Ray Romero, Traffic Reporter with Total Traffic said.

AAA predicts 50.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, with 45.5 million hitting the road.

"You've got that Friday afternoon traffic of people getting out for the whole week. If you're not gonna get out for the whole week, you're probably going to wait til Wednesday, to make your departure," Romero said.

Raymond Riley's thankful he's not traveling out of town. He's hoping the road will clear by dinner time on thanksgiving.

"I'm looking forward to going out and eat some turkey," Riley said.

One man looking forward to a feast, and thousands of drivers hoping this won't be the roadblock to theirs.