Davenport Ave. will be blocked for 3 months, bridge work needed

Published 3:33 am Saturday, September 14, 2019

Bogalusa Public Works Director James Hall told The Daily News on Thursday afternoon that a major roadwork project requires closing a portion of Davenport Avenue, for likely at least three months.

Hall said the road closure is on Davenport Avenue, between Columbia Street and Servitude Street. The closure is necessary in order to repair a bridge over the creek there. Hall said that the city inspected the bridge on Thursday, and determined portions of its underlying structure should be completely replaced as a safety precaution.

He said that public safety agencies, school systems and ambulance companies have already been notified of the closure and advised to find an alternate route of travel.

City employee Jeff Boone, who is the project manager, said Friday morning that the plan is to elevate the entire bridge several inches in the air. Then, workers will be able to work around the existing sewer, water and gas lines, to remove and replace the damaged portions of the bridge’s underlying structure.

Boone said that it appears that vehicles have not been obeying the posted weight-limit signs, which prohibit any vehicle weighing more than three tons from using the bridge. As a result, several portions of the frame beneath the bridge have begun to buckle and crack.

“Those signs are there for a reason,” Boone said.

He also noted that school buses and semi trucks are frequent violators of the weight limits. He said that Thursday, when the city first began to set up the roadblock, “six or seven” semi trucks had to be turned away after they tried to turn down onto Davenport Avenue to use the bridge.

Hall and Boone emphasized that weight-limit signs should always be obeyed, and larger vehicles should find alternate routes of travel rather than drive across bridges with posted signs.

Hall said that the bridge would be closed “indefinitely,” but likely for at least three months.