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A state traffic camera provides a bird's eye view of icy conditions on the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish at 6:03 a.m. Monday. Parish sheriff's deputies announced shortly after 7:30 a.m. that the Mississippi River bridge was closed until further notice Monday.

The Sunshine Bridge has opened after being closed more than 24 hours during a severe winter cold snap that has nearly paralyzed the state.

St. James Parish sheriff's deputies announced the reopening of the Mississippi River span around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

While both ends of the bridge are in St. James, it is also a vital link for both sides of neighboring Ascension Parish and the chemical industry workers employed up and down the river.

Two other key bridges St. James have previously reopened: the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi near Gramercy and the La. 20 bridge over Bayou Chevreuil outside Vacherie.

Crews have been applying sand to area bridges and roads to make them safer for traffic.

Even as the bridges have reopened, the frigid weather and heavy water use forced St. James Parish government to issue warnings Tuesday that they would be implement water outages for as long as eight hours so they could catch up with demand.


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.