By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents near Cypress Black Bayou will soon see the Linton Bridge replaced.
Having served local residents since the late 1970’s, the bridge is the original span constructed when Cypress Black Bayou was first created.
Bossier Parish Engineer Butch Ford said after 40 years of wear and tear, the bridge is due to be replaced.
“The piles are not in the best of shape and it’s time to replace the bridge,” said Ford.
The bridge is made up of concrete on timber piles. It will be replaced with a modern design featuring a concrete deck and concrete pilings.
The new 40 foot bridge will have two 12-feet lanes with 8 -feet shoulders on each side. Ford said they will hopefully also consider raising the bridge elevation by about a foot to give boats more space underneath.
Ford said “There is only a certain clearance under the bridge. It might be heightened so boats, ski boats and barges can go underneath it.”
During the replacement of the Linton Road bridge, residents will be detoured around the bridge. An estimated additional 10 minutes could be added to their commutes as a result.
“The road will have to be closed while the bridge is being built. It will be an inconvenience for the people, but there is nothing we can do about it. The detour around the bridge is not that far around. Maybe a 10-minute detour,” said Ford.
There’s no definite construction timeline or starting date as of now. When the project does start, though, Linton Road will be closed for the duration of construction and it might take a bit longer to replace compared to other bridges because it is over water.
Ford said “This bridge is longer and it is over water. It will take time to replace it. I estimate it will be closed for 5-6 months. But I do hope when the we do begin, we will close the bridge at the end of May of next year and open about Thanksgiving.”
This month, Ford and other required personnel will meet to discuss the preliminary plans regarding the replacement needs of the Linton Road Bridge.
“We have a meeting coming up this month to discuss replacing the Linton Road bridge. (Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development) has enough information, so we will meet out there and we are going to talk about what’s required for the preliminary plans. We will discuss all the issues that we have to deal with,” said Ford
The $2.4 million project is being funded through the Federal Off System Bridge Program, which the parish participates in. The new bridge will be similar to several others in the parish, including the nearby Parks Road Bridge.
“This is $2.4 million that we don’t have to come up with. This is a great benefit to citizens because we can use that $2.4 million for something else,” said Ford.
Ford says that Bossier Parish’s growth means its roads and bridges are being effected with wear and tear. That means the Bossier Parish Police Jury is keeping an eye on its bridges to assure that they are safe.
“What’s happening in Bossier is we have development going on. We have a lot more people, a lot more cars, more concrete trucks, more garbage trucks, and more delivery trucks for building homes. We really have to watch our bridges and keep them maintained,” said Ford.