North Shore bridges washed away, inspections on others ongoing

North Shore bridges washed away, inspections on others ongoing

AMITE, LA (WVUE) - The strong flood currents pounding against roadways for several days took a toll on bridges across the North Shore.

"This one is pretty much unprecedented," DOTD bridge maintenance engineer David Miller said. "At one point in time, we had 195 bridges that were inundated and underwater. Currently, we still have about two dozen."

Since last Wednesday, DOTD inspectors have assessed damage caused by the flooding.

In some parts of Washington Parish, the water washed away bridges, but even those that remain standing, no matter the size, must be inspected before traffic resumes.

"As the water recedes, its going to be important that they look at the damage to the public infrastructure to make sure we're inspecting bridges because bridges get compromised," Governor John Bel Edwards said. "You don't know when the water is high, whether that's taking place or not."

"Including state, we have 175 bridges in Tangipahoa Parish. So far, we have checked all but eight because the water is still too high," Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller said. "Several of those that were closed are up and running again. When the bridge foundation has some troubles, that is a much bigger fix."

The floodwater and the debris it pushed through twisted and cracked several pylons underneath a bridge on Highway 1057 just north of Amite.

Road crews drilled the closure signs right in the roadway showing how long the bridge is expected to be closed.

The path ahead on some parish and private roadways still looks grim.

The flood waters washed out culverts making the roads impassible, adding minutes and possibly hours to a commute.

"It's nothing like I've ever seen, especially this widespread," said Miller.

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