Louisiana Boaters Should Use Caution Around Bridge

January 3, 2013

Louisiana transportation officials say boaters should be cautious but they do not have to avoid going under the Interstate 210 bridge.

The American Press reports that protective netting extends across the main channel and about 125 feet beyond the channel to the east and west.

Steve Jiles, the state Department of Transportation and Development’s district administrator, says a safety advisory could be in place for about three months or until a contract is awarded to chip away any remaining loose concrete.

Jiles says DOTD officials have not received any reports of injuries from the falling concrete pieces.

“As far as we know, the falling concrete is not frequent,” he said.

Sheron Faulk, owner of Ship to Shore Co., says local authorities have issued warning about pieces of nonstructural concrete falling from underneath the bridge.

She said boaters are encouraged to pass under the middle of the bridge where protective netting was placed as a temporary fix.

Don Duberville, a DODT assistant district administrator, said the problem was first discovered in 2011 when workers were replacing a system that protects the bridge’s columns from impacts by boats or barges.

He said boaters should be careful.

“It’s not like it’s raining concrete,” he said.

Duberville said the DOTD bridge maintenance staff in Baton Rouge is designing a project to chip away any remaining concrete.

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