Sunshine Bridge lane closed due to 'significant crack,' according to DOTD

Staff Report

The westbound right lane on the Sunshine Bridge, which is Hwy. 70 in St. James Parish, is closed due to a significant crack in one of the 168 vertical structural members.

According to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the staff discovered the recently developed crack during a planned, routine inspection of the bridge.

The bridge is safe for the traveling public to cross. The lane closure is in place out of an abundance of caution until the repairs can be made. No permitted loads (trucks that need a permit from DOTD) will be able to use the bridge until the repairs are in place. 

The repair schedule is still under development and will be released as soon as it is finalized. Once the materials are in place, there should be a quick turnaround on the repair. Until the repairs are made, DOTD inspectors will regularly monitor this location as the already-scheduled bridge inspection continues. If the bridge becomes unsafe for motorists, it will be shut down immediately.

“This is a perfect example of why we inspect our bridges on a regular basis,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “The safety of the traveling public is the department’s No. 1 goal. Lane closures for bridge inspections and closing bridges entirely because of safety reasons can be an inconvenience, I know, but it beats the alternative of having people driving in unsafe conditions.”

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through construction sites, and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region for which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website.

The Sunshine Bridge is located in St. James Parish, near the Ascension Parish boundary. It crosses the Mississippi River on the southern side of the Baton Rouge area.