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A pushboat with barges under its control rides down the Mississippi River and under the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. The extended boom of a crane barge being moved up the river Oct. 12 hit the bridge more than 100 feet in the air.

UPDATE: This closure has been delayed one week due to expected inclement weather.

DONALDSONVILLE — The Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish will be closed for two days starting 6 a.m. Saturday for repairs related to a nighttime barge crash last fall, state highway officials said Tuesday.

The closure of the four-lane Mississippi River span, which is a critical link for both sides of Ascension and other river parishes, is expected to last until 5 a.m. Monday.

Contractors are expected to repair and replace structural bridge components in emergency work that has already has lasted for months, state Department of Transportation and Development officials said in a statement.

A crane barge hit the bridge's southwest side Oct. 12, shutting the bridge entirely until Dec. 1. It has been partially open since then but will be closed again over the weekend for the repairs.

DOTD officials have said they hope that all the repairs will be finished by early February.  

During the closure, a detour route will be set up for motorists, DOTD said.

Those traveling on La. 70 westbound will turn onto La. 3125 south to La. 3123 South to cross the Veterans Memorial Bridge near Gramercy. Then they will travel to La 3127 north to La. 70 near Donaldsonville.

Those traveling on La. 70 eastbound near Donaldsonville will turn onto La. 3127 south to LA 3123 North to cross the Veterans Memorial Bridge to La. 3125 north to La 70 near Convent.


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Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.