West Bank bridge closed as officials look for solution to expensive fix

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 6:26 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 11:41 AM

WWLTV.com
Email: webteam@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

HARVEY, La. - In news that wouldn't surprise Harvey commuters, the 4th Street Bridge was closed to drivers Monday morning.

The bridge was out of service for more than two hours one other time in 2013.

It is closed to cars but open to barges and ships that use the Harvey Canal.

Marine traffic could not get through as the bridge broke in the down position on Thursday. The bridge was opened later Thursday night, however, to allow marine traffic passage.

There is no alternate route for marine traffic, because the Algiers Locks, which would be another option, are closed for repairs by the Army Corps of Engineers.

After Thursday's break, DOTD lifted the bridge so that it could be used by marine traffic again, making it not an option for drivers.

When the bridge is not working, drivers can use the Westbank Expressway.

A steel connection on the bridge failed, according to the DOTD.

The parts needed to fix the problem are not available, because they need to be made.

Another issue is that the fix is an expensive job, according to officials. It could cost as much as $20 million to replace the bridge.

The bridge could be closed for two weeks or more, the DOTD said.

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