The Phillips Street Bridge located in Opelousas has officially re-opened today.
A ceremony was held this afternoon to celebrate the completion of the project.
The bridge was damaged during the flood of August 2016, when high waters eroded the area around the bridge so much the bridge became a hazard. It was closed the first week of September 2016. The repair project cost about $127,000 and was done by L&R Construction.
The project was an important one, said Mayor Reggie Tatum
“It affects ems, fire, police, it affects everyone, so this is something that community has been waiting on for the two and a half years, roughly, that we’ve been working on it,” Tatum said.
The bridge project is part of a larger strategic plan, the mayor said.
“Right now, we are in the Stabilization part of our strategic plan. Our city will be 300 years old in 2020, and there has not been a focused, planned and sustained effort to upgrade and replace our old infrastructure,” Tatum said. “We had to identify critical infrastructure that needed immediate repairs or replacement. Phillis St Bridge is critical infrastructure that needed immediate repairs. There is a large elderly community living in the area and reopening the bridge will allow our first responders and law enforcement personnel quicker access to the residents. Re-opening the Phillips St Bridge is a big win for the City of Opelousas and will bring the residents some much needed relief.”
The city is hoping that FEMA and the state will help fund a full replacement of the bridge, said Chief Administrative Officer Rod Sias.
“Currently, replacement funding for Phillips St Bridge is being reviewed by FEMA and the City is currently applying for funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program,” Sias said. “This will allow the City to replace and relocate critical infrastructure before there is a natural disaster or catastrophic weather event. Repairs to the Phillips St. Bridge is the first step towards total replacement of the bridge.”
The full replacement of Phillips Street Bridge is currently estimated at $ 781,000.00.