Burnett Road reopened Nov. 7 after extensive repair work was needed to reinforce the substructure of the road’s bridge. It had been closed to traffic for more than a month.
West Feliciana Parish Director of Public Works Jim Ferguson said about a half-dozen support pilings under the bridge needed to be repaired and reinforced, and he supervised a crew, which took about seven days to complete the work.
He said the pilings are made of timber and had deteriorated over time since the bridge first opened in 1976.
Ferguson credited Parish President Kevin Couhig and St. Francisville Mayor Billy D’Aquilla for agreeing to let the parish’s work crew provide the labor and materials.
Not only did the arrangement represent a significant savings to the town, but it also facilitated a quicker turnaround, but it also facilitated a quicker turnaround because it was not necessary to put the job out for bid to outside contractors.
“We presented the town an invoice that was less than $20,000, and if they had put it out for bid, it could have potentially cost $60,000 to $70,000,” Ferguson said.
He said the reinforced pilings have improved the bridge’s load capacity from three tons to 20 tons.
“Some of the work was tricky because the piles were up under there and it took some hands and some muscle to get in there to do the work,” Ferguson said.
He praised his crew which has been inspecting and repairing parish bridges over the past few months. The crew has repaired two bridges on Sligo Road, one on Canfield Road and one on Island Road.
Ferguson said he does not anticipate any more bridge work will be needed between now and the end of the year.