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Black Bayou bridge safety

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Warning signs and buoys (left in photo) tell boaters the danger of moving beneath the Linton Rd. bridge over Black Bayou while construction is in progress.

A small number of boaters who continue to violate safety protocols while construction is underway on a new Linton Rd. bridge over Black Bayou has caused the Bossier Parish Police Jury to consider more stringent steps.

Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson told police jury members that several complaints have been filed by the bridge project contractor concerning boaters traveling under the structure while work is in progress.

That activity, Jackson said, is creating safety problems which could be endangering both boaters and construction workers.

“We have received several photographs from the contractor that shows boats going under the bridge while they’re welding overhead; while they’re driving piles,” Jackson said. “That creates tremendous safety problems.”

Jackson said the original project plans called for Cypress Black Bayou to erect floating booms across the area to prevent boat traffic from moving through the area.

“Unfortunately, that would have land-locked a section in that area so we tried to work with that,” Jackson explained.

“We placed signage saying don’t enter the area when construction is going on but, as with many things, some folks just don’t want to follow the rules.”

Considering both safety and the importance of the bridge project, Jackson said the original plan for restricting boat traffic will be put in place.

“We’ve had to ask Cypress to go ahead with the original plan and boom that off,” he said “We tried an easier solution but there are a few folks that don’t seem to care, so we’re going to have to go with a more stringent solution. We’re doing everything we can to keep the contractor working.”

Jackson said the contractor works only a half day on Saturday and does not work Sunday.

“We are looking for a solution that might help boaters on those days the contractor isn’t working, but we don’t know exactly what that would be,” he said. “We will look for some way to provide relief when the contractor isn’t there.”

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