Woodland Drive repairs almost complete

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009



LAPLACE – St. John Parish officials said Tuesday the parish will ask the council for a letter of substantial completion on the Woodland Drive Bridge in LaPlace.

The bridge, which is on a stretch of road linking several LaPlace neighborhoods with U.S. Highway 51, has been under construction since July after inspections last spring showed the bridge had major safety and stability issues.

Parish officials said the bridge was installed when Woodland Drive was laid out decades ago and has never undergone any sort of repair.

Buddy Boe, acting chief administrative officer for St. John Parish, said repairs were budgeted at $562,000, but the lowest bid came in about $100,000 less than the estimates.

Boe said funding for the work came out of the public works budget, but the parish hopes to pull future money for bridge repairs from a state public works program that funds bridges not positioned on large state highways.

He said none of the bridges in St. John had been entered into the program at the time these repairs were needed.

After the inspections on the bridge in April, Boe said the parish lowered the speed limit on and near the bridge to 25 mph and imposed a weight restriction of 10 tons or less. Speed bumps were installed on both sides of the bridge to further slow traffic in the area. Those restrictions have since been lifted.

“Both sides of the bridge are completely open to all traffic,” Boe said.