POSTED: Friday, May 24, 2013 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 24, 2013 - 4:23pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Mayor-President Kip Holden warned today that the bridge collapse in Washington should serve as a wake up call for East Baton Rouge Parish.
Back in 2011 the Metro Council shot down a $350 million bond proposal for infrastructure issues in the parish. A portion of that would have gone to upgrades on nearly 80 bridges in the Baton Rouge area. Many are on the verge of being closed due to failing conditions.
On Friday, May 24, Mayor Holden told NBC33 News that many of those bridges have been in need of upgrades for decades.
“Now that time has expanded and we're still just messing around a little bit,” he said. “But I call upon everyone to start the dialog and say we have to get this done. Yes, it’s going to take money, but I can tell you no amount of money can replace a life.”
Holden went on to say there are more than 100 bridges across the parish that need repairs, which could cost tens of millions of dollars.
According to a report published by Transportation for America , East Baton Rouge Parish has 535 bridges with 58 of those listed as “structurally deficient.” That is the highest number of deficient bridges in the state. Just under 8.4 million people travel across the all of the bridges in the parish on a daily basis.