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Surrey Street Bridge will be closed up to eight months - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Surrey Street Bridge will be closed up to eight months

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LAFAYETTE, La. -

If you're being inconvenienced by the Surrey Street Bridge closure, expect the delays to continue. The project will take about eight months to complete.

Public works officials say this project will cost about half-a-million dollars, but the owner of a nearby bar says he's worried about how much money construction will take out of his pocket.

Somewhere Else Bar and Grill is located just steps from the Surrey Street Bridge. Bar owner Carroll Poche says on a normal day his parking lot would be close to full, but lately, it's been empty.

"We had 15,000 cars a day pass here, and now, we have none. The traffic is not what it used to be. We're still maintaining. Our business is still enough to pay the bills, but it's not making any money," said Poche.

Poche says he thinks the need for repairs could have been prevented with proper inspection.

"I have serious questions. I mean, who did the inspection, Ray Charles?" said Poche.

Lafayette Consolidated Government says previous inspections did not find the corrosion on the bridge's beams that forced the closure, but they do understand that closure will cause problems for commuters who use the bridge on a regular basis.

"Naturally, it's causing extensive congestion down the highway down Pinhook. The level of service of the system was an F prior to this, so I guess it's an F-. It's a hard situation, and there's no real relief that we've been able to come up with," said Public Works Director Mark Dubroc.

While drivers dread congestion caused by the construction, Poche worries about his and his employees' futures.

"I don't have many employees. They mostly work for tips, but of course, they're not making many tips; they're not getting nothing," said Poche.

LCG says they think last year's flood caused the corrosion under the bridge, and they are in the process of finalizing a deal with the contractor.

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