UPDATE: As of 3 p.m., DOTD says the back-up is 10 miles.
ORIGINAL STORY: Work on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge has begun, and so have the weekend lane closures.
One lane of the bridge will be closed on the westbound side every weekend between Henderson and Whiskey Bay for most of the month.
Yesterday, there were back-ups on the westbound side that reached six miles. Today, DOTD officials are warning motorists traveling west to prepare for delays as one lane of the bridge will be closed all day.
Earlier this month, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced a rehabilitation project to replace the existing bridge deck surface on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in St. Martin Parish from the Whiskey Bay exit to mile marker 125. The contractor, Gibson & Associates, will mill the existing deck surface and replace it with a modified latex concrete pavement.
A portion of the bridge deck was damaged following a multi-vehicle crash involving a vehicle fire in August 2019 that caused spalling to occur, resulting in some of the surface concrete to crack and flake off. One of the trucks involved in the crash was carrying a load of lumber that sparked an intense fire, which is to blame for much of the damage.
The bridge was deemed structurally sound after a thorough bridge inspection.
Construction is anticipated to be completed Jan. 27, weather permitting.
There will be lane closure on I-10 westbound during the weekends from 9 p.m. on Fridays to 6 a.m. on Mondays. Motorists are encouraged to use a detour route using LA 415 to U.S. 190 to I-49 back to I-10.