Causeway reopened in both directions after vehicle recovery - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Causeway reopened in both directions after vehicle recovery

(STPSO) (STPSO)

Metairie, La. -- The Causeway Bridge is now open in both directions after being closed for a vehicle recovery following Wednesday's accident involving a vehicle that plunged into Lake Pontchartrain.

After meticulous planning, crews finally lifted a dumptruck from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain Thursday afternoon.

All of the southbound lanes were closed at 10:00 a.m. Thursday to let workers prepare to hoist the truck from the lake. Shortly after lunchtime, the northbound lanes were closed to motorists. 

About three hours later, the truck was placed on a flatbed truck and brought to an undisclosed location on the south shore.  However, the body of the driver, who authorities said is presumed dead, was not found inside the truck.

Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said the truck weighs between 35,000 and 40,000 pounds which compounded the operation.  While he is relieved the vehicle is out of the water, he was saddened that the driver has not been located.

"It was a tragic situation.  We lost a life.  It's another message for everybody to please drive safely," Dufrechou stated.

He said dive teams from Jefferson Parish and St. Tammany would continue searching for the driver.  His name has not been released, yet.

Causeway authorities say Wednesday's accident happened around 5:15 p.m. on the southbound side of the bridge near the five mile marker.

It's still unclear what caused the truck to go into the water.

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