Isaac knocks out eight bridge sections on Causeway - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Isaac knocks out eight bridge sections on Causeway

Updated:
New Orleans, La. -

The damage totals are in from Hurricane Isaac, and that storm did far more harm to the Causeway than did Katrina.

Whole sections of the old turnaround lane were washed away, causing problems for cell phone providers as well as for much of the bridge's electronics.

Officials are still tallying the damage, but right now they say it's hovering around $4.5 million.

The levee work is done and two new lanes are providing relief, and by April of next year there will be a fifth toll lane on the North Shore to alleviate congestion and a new toll system as well.

But at the old turnaround out in the middle of the lake, there are whole sections that were washed away during Hurricane Isaac, in spite of cables that were brought in to hold them in place.

Bridge GM Carlton Dufrechou says, "Isaac did a number on us."

Isaac took out eight entire sections of the old turnaround lanes, making two cell phone towers inaccessible.

Officials are now talking about relocating a generator and two cell towers to an enlarged crossover.

Isaac also knocked out about 80 percent of the bridge's electrical grid, including message boards, and all but two have been repaired.   Other work is continuing.

At one time there was a gantry at the south end.  It was torn down for construction but Dufrechou says it will be replaced, with the original lettering.

While the old signs will come back on the South Shore, the old turnaround lanes are gone for good.   Those bridge sections had withstood hurricanes for over 50 years.

Carlton Dufrechou says all the repairs should be made without raising tolls. Bridge officials are seeking reimbursements through the federal government to try and offset the $4.5 million cost.

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