“How often do you go over the bridge? Every day, I travel across the bridge every day.”
Donaldsonville’s residents say they are concerned about the future of the Sunshine bridge.
“Sunday, the bridge was hit again. I had to go all the way to 31-27.”
Trina Johnson said, the bridge is convenient but closing it when it’s damaged puts a strain on her daily routine.
“If it close, that’s a whole new route for me. It’s extra gas which I never got paid for, a lot of time which means I might be late for work” said Johnson.
Residents fear the closures could be longer if the Sunshine bridge is hit again. DOTD Communication Director Rodney Mallett said, if that happens, they are better prepared.
“When you’re crossing the Mississippi river there are only so many places you can cross so an alternate route would be troublesome sometimes, but we do the best we can, and we do have plans in place to make that as easy as possible” said Mallett.
He said, those plans include a system that will alleviate the stress on drivers.
“The strategy boils down to what state routes are available that we can get people on. Once we start getting people on those routes, we’ll man them. We work very closely with law enforcement and our partners at State Police, so we can man the signals, we can watch the roads, and we can make adjustments while we’re there” said Mallett.
Some drivers say the alternate routes are driving nightmares.
“I’m not driving on 31-27, it’s too long, it’s too far.”
Mallett says, they understand the frustration and learned their lesson from the previous experience.
“We try to make things flow as best we can. But we do know it will be an inconvenience if you have one of our major thoroughfares shut down.”