Law enforcement will be opening lanes of traffic on the Hwy 182 bridge over the Atchafalaya River in St. Mary Parish.
The Morgan City Police Department has coordinated with the Department of Transportation, Berwick Police Department, and St. Mary Sheriff's Department and developed a plan to relieve some of the traffic congestion traveling through Morgan City and Berwick.
Starting Tuesday July 20, at 4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. the LA 182 Bridge will open for WESTBOUND TRAFFIC ONLY for traffic traveling into Berwick.
In the morning hours at 6:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. the LA 182 bridge will be opened for EASTBOUND TRAFFIC ONLY for traffic traveling into Morgan City.
The LA 182 Bridge will be ONE LANE ONLY, they say.
After these hours are completed the bridge will be closed to all traffic so repairs can be made. Officers from all agencies will be on site to monitor traffic.
The Morgan City Police Department asks that drivers should plan ahead before traveling. This alternate lane opening will be done daily until all repairs have been made by DOTD.
According to a DOTD spokesperson, crews will be making repairs to the concrete barrier that was impacted on Sunday. The missing sections of concrete barrier rail will be temporarily replaced with metal guard rail.
At this time, DOTD says there are no structural concerns with the bridge. Depending on weather, crews hoped to begin repair work on Tuesday and have both lanes of traffic open to the public within the next day or two.
Morgan City Mayor Lee Dragna asked motorists to use caution in the area.
"If you can’t drive safely (not in a rush) and/or the speed limit then just stay at home or work till the high traffic times pass. We have put cones on the bridge to keep people in the proper lane( do not change lanes)," Dragna writes in a social media post. "I understand this message is a little blunt but if we have to many issues we will not continue to open the old bridge to help convenience our residents."
He reminded drivers to follow the rules, too.
"Remember if your on your phone we will give you a ticket, if your speeding we will give you a ticket, if you drive crazy we will give you a ticket. If we are busy with traffic you will be detained until we have time to write the ticket. Remember this is not about just you, it’s about 10,000 other people too," he said. "Thanks for your assistance in this high traffic area. The city of Morgan City, MCFD, BVFD,town of Berwick and the sheriff department are going to try to make everyone’s life easier so please help us help you."
Here's the post:
On Sunday July 18, 2020 at 1:36 PM the Berwick Police Department received numerous calls concerning an incident on the La Hwy 182 Bridge.
According to police, the trailer of a truck, which was filled with concrete, broke free and crashed into the side of the bridge. During the crash, a part of the concrete guardrail was damaged and fell onto a residence below on Third Street.
Officers were able to make contact with the driver, identified as Byron Blakeman of Morgan City.
Blakeman was cited for Careless Operation Of A Motor Vehicle with a Crash.
No injuries were reported.
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