Arnaudville residents frustrated over bridge closure, seeking answers

ARNAUDVILLE, La. (KLFY) – The Bayou Portage Bridge is the only outlet Arnaudville residents have to access the levee, but piles of rocks are blocking the way. Residents say they are fed up and want answers.

It all started back in August.

“The historic flood created some erosion at the ends of the bridge, underneath the bridge so you can’t see it from the top of the bridge, but underneath there is quite a bit of erosion,” said St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot.

And now four months later, residents still don’t have answers

“It’s inconvenient because you have to go all the way around, take 1-90 to Courtableau or you have to go through Henderson to get anywheres on the levee,” said Luke Pontiff.

The bridge is located off of Alex Richard Road and Portage Levee Road in Arnaudville.

Luke Pontiff, III said accessing the boat launch and hunting grounds is very difficult.

“First of all going to our camp, now it takes us 30 minutes to get to it instead of 15 minutes because we got to go all the way through Port Barre instead of going across the bridge and going right there.”

And many residents are unaware of the closure.

“I watch them all the time, you know some of them don’t know it’s closed and they come back here with boats, big boats and they have to fight to turn around. it’s just a mess up. they need to fix it bad,” said Luke Pontiff.

Pontiff said residents were not notified of the closure.

“We seen them hauling rocks one day and that’s when we knew we couldn’t pass no more.”

“They should’ve had a sign way back on Division Road by Knotts Grocery saying the bridge is out,” said Luke Pontiff.

St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot said this bridge is one of several locations impacted by the flood, making the rebuilding process slow.

“It is taking a little time for the agencies to get review of all of these permit requests, but they assure us that more than likely mid January that we will have approval and can move on to the repair.”

The bridge repairs are expected to cost about forty thousand dollars.

Fontenot expects the bridge to be reopened by February.

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