Lane closures on Sunshine Bridge cause major traffic headaches for drivers

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POSTED: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 8:14pm

UPDATED: Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 11:00am

People who use the Sunshine Bridge to get across the Mississippi River are fed up with lane closures on the bridge.

"Lord, Lord it's really bad. It's really bad. It's bad out there you know," Mac Rodrigue, commuter, said.

"One lane open on the Sunshine Bridge is very frustrating, because it gets hectic," Brian Gomez, commuter, said.

One lane is closed in both directions. DOTD officials say the closures are to help keep workers safe while they do routine maintenance and structural repairs on the bridge. Drivers say the closures are causing major traffic troubles.

"Now you got to wake up earlier to cross the bridge, and in the evening it's hard getting home, because you got so much traffic," Kurt Southerland, commuter, said. "You normally get off work about 5:30 and get home about 7:00. Now you get home but like 9:00. "

"Since, it's one lane it's backed up unbelievable," Gomez said. "I mean it's ridiculous."

DOTD officials say the lane closures are expected to last until June 2015. Drivers say that's too long.

"Bad real bad that's putting a strain on a lot of people," Southerland said.

Some commuters have even started reconsidering their routes.

"I don't even want to cross the bridge," Gomez said. "I'd rather go to Plaquemine and catch the ferry. "
"I think I may go on the other side of the bridge cross the other way," Rodrigue said. "It's a jam. "

DOTD officials said, "The structural repair portion of the project involves reinforcing portions of the bridge in order to extend its life."

The project cost $25.1 million dollars.

DOTD officials said, "We sent a signal crew to the area this morning (Wednesday) to make adjustments in order to improve traffic flow."

Drivers we spoke too said they did not notice the difference.

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