Hale Boggs Bridge closing again for repairs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 28, 2009



LULING – Motorists in St. Charles who use the Hale Boggs Bridge over the Mississippi River to get to and from the east and west banks will again be asked to take a lengthy detour next week

Officials with the state Department of Transportation and Development said the entire bridge will be shut down from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, so a work crew can install “cable saddles” at the top of the 155-foot-tall northernmost tower of the bridge. Crews will also be attaching replacement cables to support the bridge while the current support cables are replaced.

“We have a crane arm that will be crossing above all lanes of traffic, so we have to close it,” said DOTD spokesman Dustin Annison. “We obviously can’t have cars passing while workers are in the air.”

Annison said the closure schedule would be similar to a previous shutdown in October, which kept the bridge closed for a day.

Annison said the work is part of a $30.5 million project to replace all 72 cables on the 23-year-old bridge. He said individual strands of the grout-coated cables showed signs of corrosion. This weekend’s closure is the second of three needed to complete the job, which is expected to be finished by September of 2010.

Annison said the next closest bridge crossing is the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, which is also undergoing a construction process. The good news, however, is that no lane closures are scheduled on the bridge this weekend. Annison said DOTD coordinated the scheduling so that the two major river crossings would not be affected at the same time.

Motorists may also use the Veterans Memorial Bridge in St. James Parish, which connects Gramercy to Wallace in St. John Parish.