State highway road crews are closing a section of La. 70 to one lane in each direction just east of the Sunshine Bridge intermittently this week to build a new U-turn lane.

Also, about 3 miles west of the bridge near Donaldsonville, the La. 70 crossing over the Union Pacific Railroad line also will be closed to one lane 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for repairs, state highway officials said in a news release Monday.

The lane closures east of the bridge are occurring in a half-mile-long, four-lane section of La. 70 just after the bridge’s approach, state Department of Transportation and Development officials said. Those closures began Monday and are expected to last through Friday.

The four-lane bridge itself has been closed to one lane in each direction since mid-March for a $25.1 million project to repaint the bridge. The work has caused rush-hour backups that sometimes reach as far as the four-way stop signs next to the La. 70 railroad crossing that will be worked on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Once built, the new U-turn lane east of the Mississippi River bridge will allow eastbound drivers who have just crossed the bridge to make a turn back toward River Road, DOTD officials said.

The single-lane closure of La. 70 over the Union Pacific line west of the bridge will allow workers to smooth out the transition between the rail line and the road, DOTD officials said.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.