LAFAYETTE — A bridge that was closed for nearly three years reopened Wednesday, one of 38 old bridges that city-parish government is working to replace.
The bridge, on Beau Bassin Road east of Carencro, had been closed since October 2008, when an inspection found the wooden supports had rotted beyond repair, said Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Jay Castille, who represents the area.
“It was a long time coming,” Castille said of the reopening.
Castille said the bridge had been a major thoroughfare for residents in the rural northwest part of the parish.
“It was used quite a bit,” Castille said.
The completion of the $700,000 bridge is an effort by city-parish government to whittle away at a lengthy list of bridges that have been tagged for replacement, and work is ongoing on similar projects across the parish.
Thirty-seven bridges remain on the list, about one fifth of the bridges that city-parish government maintains.
Seven of those bridges have been closed for safety reasons, but the remainder have been deemed stable enough to support traffic for now, said City-Parish Associate Director of Public Works Pat Logan.
Most of the bridges tagged for replacement are in rural areas, where infrastructure has suffered because tax revenue has not kept pace with the needs.
The cost of replacing all 37 bridges is about $25 million, with the cost for each bridge ranging from $400,000 to $1.2 million, according to figures from city-parish government.
Voters approved a bond issue in 2009 that included $10 million to replace 17 rural bridges.
The Beau Bassin Bridge was the first one completed under the rural bridge bond program, Logan said.
Regular road maintenance funds are paying for some of the remaining work, but eight of the bridges on the list still lack funding. The total cost of the those eight bridges is about $5.3 million.
The Department Public Works plans to request that the city-parish administration include some of that money in next year’s budget, Logan said.