Dial Dalfred- Bridge closure in St. Landry Parish causes concerns

Photo Credit: Dalfred Jones/KLFY

Large mounds of dirt on each end of Rozena Road are preventing residents from access.

Carol Fontenot lives just across that field and says those who live along this road aren’t only being put in a difficult position, but also being put in danger. Normally, getting to Highway 190 would take Carol Fontenot about 60 seconds. While the bridge is closed, he has to travel an additional 3.5 miles or just about 9 minutes.

Fontenot says, “The back road is just a lonely, deserted, narrow little road with no lights.”

You may think, driving a few extra miles to the grocery store is just an inconvenience, but what about in case of emergency?

Fontenot says, “If we need to ambulance, we can’t get it. If we need the fire department they can’t get here on time because of this.”

Eric Gobert has a farm on Rozena Road. He says it’s an inconvenience taking the long narrow road to get crops in and out of the fields. “Which is still a small factor until you think about the actual neighbors in this area with 911 and everything else. There’s got to be another way to get out.”

Residents say the bridge was closed with very little warning. According to parish officials, the load limit had been lowered on the bridge in the past, as a sign of its age.

Parish President Bill Fontenot says, “The bridge has deteriorated to the extent that it must be closed. That’s for safety reasons because people travel across it with school buses, the mail carrier and human beings. It’s in the interest of safety that it must be closed.”

Parish President Fontenot says he has been in contact with residents, and they hope to have some type of strategy on how to address the issue.

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