ABBEVILLE — The Vermilion Parish Police Jury voted 13-0 to not close Pumping Plant Road off La. 330 to heavy truck traffic pending the completion of work on the Perry Bridge.

A motion to close the road to heavy truck traffic was originally approved by the General Needs Committee, but Police Juror T.J. Prejean Jr. supported the motion to keep the road open pending completion of the bridge.

Because the bridge is closed, trucks heading from Abbeville to Perry are from La. 694 to South Henry Road, then back to La. 694, which 18-wheelers are designated to travel on.

Trucks are using Pumping Plant Road as a shortcut and the road was not built for heavy trucks.

The move to keep the road open was made after local business owner Jude Duhon, owner of Duhon Brothers Oil Co., asked the jury to reconsider its proposal to close the road, which is experiencing heavy use following the closure of the Perry Bridge.

“Closing the road to (heavy truck) traffic will hurt me and at least four other businesses,” he said. “Farmers, oil field companies and trucks all come to my business from Pumping Plant Road. Seventy percent of our business uses that road.”

After calling the road “the lifeline to Intracoastal City” from Abbeville, Lafayette and other area cities, Duhon said he believed the jury made the initial decision without knowing of the effect it would have on local business.

Jury President Wayne Touchet said the jury did not know so many local businesses would be affected and agreed the road should be kept open to truck traffic until the bridge work is done.

Duhon said he was happy with the decision, if only for three or four weeks until the bridge is completed.

“After that, we won’t have a problem there again,” he said. “When the bridge opens, traffic will be two-thirds less on the road.”