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'Save the Bridge Project' aims to raise funds to repair Breaux B - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

'Save the Bridge Project' aims to raise funds to repair Breaux Bridge landmark

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BREAUX BRIDGE, LA -

The annual Breaux Bridge Area Chamber of Commerce Jambalaya Cook-off was held Saturday, Sept. 19 with a new addition to preserve local heritage.

In an effort to support and repair an iconic landmark, a crawfish derby was held at the cook-off to fund the ‘Save The Bridge Project.’

The Bridge is located in the heart of Breaux Bridge, and has been a landmark for years since it was built in the 1700's.

The city even received its name after Firmin Breaux built the footbridge over Bayou Teche in 1799. At the time is was a convenient way for the public to travel.

Throughout the years, the bridge has undergone construction and improvements.

The present bridge was built in 1950, and it is now in need of repairs so it can remain standing.

"This community was built around the center of this bridge," Joseph Pearson, President of the Breaux Bridge Chamber said. "A lot of time you'll have a river or a bayou that separates a community, but this bridge brings our community together." 

While the structure of the bridge is in good condition, the upper section of the overpass is in need of repairs.

State officials have considered tearing down the bridge on account of the paint being a possible health and safety hazard.

"You can see a concrete bridge just about anywhere and we want to keep the aesthetic of the bridge intact. That's our goal," Pearson said.

Improvements to the bridge will cost about $700,000 to complete.

St. Martin parish tourism staffers, along with the Chamber of Commerce, are trying to raise about $70,000 so they can qualify for grants to help fund the whole project.

At the jambalaya cook-off Saturday, plastic crawfish sold during the crawfish derby, and those donations accounted for about $1,000 towards the bridge to help keep the landmark standing.

Pearson said he hopes to create a festival dedicated to raising money towards the bridge in the next two years.

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