EDITOR’S NOTE: In last week’s column, we included a query from a reader looking for the fleurs-de-lis ironwork designs on the old Mississippi River Bridge over U.S. 190. To our delight, we heard from two readers.

The first is Pat James, whose uncle Charles Carson was the contractor involved in removing the decorative rail 37 years ago from what was then called the Huey P. Long Bridge.

Pat says her uncle mounted a few of the fleurs-de-lis, seen here, and gave them as gifts. She and husband James Jones have proudly displayed theirs in their Baton Rouge home.

“I have no idea what it’s worth,” she said. (We think it might be priceless, at least as a family artifact.)

Next, we heard from Patt Roberson, of Baker, a retired journalism professor from Southern University. Patt says she noticed the demolition work and went to the contractor to ask for one of the fleurs-de-lis. She got, what she thought, was a brusque brush-off, but a week later returned to the contractor’s office located under the bridge.

She was handed two of the prized decorations that the workers said they were holding for her.

“I thought at the time these are something somebody would like ... but I didn’t think it would take that long.”

A roundabout proposal

QUESTION: Has the state Department of Transportation and Development considered putting roundabouts at exit 151 on Interstate 10, the La. 415 exit near Lobdell in West Baton Rouge Parish? It would help that road handle the extra traffic when something happens on the Mississippi River Bridge or the Basin Bridge.

ANSWER: DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet tells us the agency “is in the process of studying this intersection to determine what interchange configuration will best handle the traffic at this location.”

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