Arnaudville levee bridge closes once again for repairs

ARNAUDVILLE, La. (KLFY) – The Bayou Portage Bridge in Arnaudville is made out of timber and has deteriorated significantly over time causing several road closures and inconveniencing many residents.

If you live in Arnaudville and want to get to the levee you’ll have to find another route.

“We have found that there are at least two piles, or support pieces of the bridge, that are rotting away to the extent that it would be unsafe for citizens to travel over the bridge at this time,” St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot said.

The Bayou Portage Bridge located off of Alex Richard Road and Portage Levee Road is temporarily closed for repairs.

“Everybody here in Portage, Arnaudville, and everywhere else that has camps near Courtableau uses this bridge often,” resident Mitchell Stelly said.

Stelly said closures like this one happen often.

“They’re spending more money on opening and closing it and trying to repair it then if they just bite the bullet and have you a good bridge.”

The bridge was built in the 1960’s.

“It can not withstand as much of a load as it did when it was once new, so these piles deteriorate, wear away, rot away basically and if not replaced the bridge would collapse,” Fontenot said.

Fontenot said while the closures are inconvenient, safety is his main priority.

“Traveling safely and having a safe structure to use for the traveling public is the main issue here.”

Stelly is hoping for a long-term solution.

“It’s one of those thing ya know? It’s a good thing that the people came to look at it’s state and see it’s not functional enough to cross and someone could loose a life. It’s better to leave it closed, rebuild it and then it’s done.”

Fontenot said the bridge should be re-opened in about 30 days.

Fontenot said the bridge is on a list to be completely rebuilt, but the bridge is one of many in the parish on that list.

There’s no time frame set up for when this bridge will be replaced.

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