Iberville residents thrilled with temporary solution to cross the canal

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POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 6:28pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 6:52pm

Good news for people in Iberville Parish. Before you know it, there could be a way to cross the Intercostal Canal, even though the bridge is out. This new temporary solution is all thanks to parish officials.

After a barge crashed into the Grosse Tete Bridge last week the state said they would help repair it but it would take over two months. This urged parish leaders to take the matter into their own hands.

It's often times difficult to really appreciate something until it’s gone.

"Most people would get mad when the bridge had to open for a boat to pass but now I bet they wish the boat was passing," said Iberville resident, Chad Blanchard.

That's exactly what people are thinking in Iberville Parish right now.

Since the Grosse Tete Bridge was damaged last week, residents have been driving miles and hours out of their way to get around.

Blanchard told us it went from “10-15 minutes to get to work now a little over an hour depending on traffic so it’s a lot tougher."

But Iberville parish and the sheriff's office said enough is enough, “People need to get to work and school,” noted Iberville Sheriff, Brett Stassi. "After the holidays we waited and decided we could wait no longer for them."

Sheriff Stassi is talking about the state. Louisiana is allegedly supplying a boat to help get people across but no word yet on when that will happen.

"We're trying to do everything we can to get our people back and forth,” said Iberville Parish President, Mitchell Ourso.

Good Samaritans stepped up too, donating supplies and land to help get the people of Iberville back to their normal routine. They are building platforms and ramps to ferry people across using the sheriff's office's boat and equipment.

“They always do come through when you need those most,” said Blanchard. “We just have to be patient and let them do their deal and it will work out.”

So hopefully come Monday morning those long commutes will be over and angry residents wont have a reason to stress anymore.

“If they show up good,” Sheriff Stassi tells us. “If not, we're ready."

The sheriff's office is paying for some of the construction, but most of the funds were donated.

The platforms and ramps should be done by Monday and the sheriff's boat can hold six to eight people. They tell us that they will add boats if necessary.

If the state provides a ferry, it will determine the hours of operation.

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