Contractors working to repair the Sunshine Bridge set jacking brackets in place the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, along the bottom of the bridge in St. James Parish. Far below is the Mississippi River. The brackets, which each weigh 1,500 pounds, will eventually be used with jacks to realign the damaged bridge and handle stresses that are now bearing on a damage metal beam, allowing a new beam being fabricated to be installed. A crane barge hit the bridge Oct. 12, damaging the original beam. Some of the jacking equipment has already arrived while the replacement beam is being fabricated, state highway officials said.

"Bridge closed indefinitely." My heart sank as I read those words.

The Sunshine Bridge is the lifeline for folks who live and work in the parish, and I experienced its significance firsthand when serving the area around the bridge after the floods that inundated several of our parishes a few years ago. My grandparents were plantation owners, and I see the wonderful similarities of the countryside — the lush green sugar cane fields, the old homes, the delicious homemade food and the river flowing nearby. Named after one of our governor’s horses, the bridge takes care of its people. Let us hope that we are able to quickly find a solution to nurture the bridge back to health so it can be back in the race doing what it was designed to do, helping our state move forward.

Is there need for a new Mississippi River bridge? This legislator is running an ad about it

Amrita Pal


Baton Rouge