Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin reminds the public that three bridges in the Parish system remain closed to traffic and cautions that it is unsafe to cross them.
One closed bridge is located on Miller Drive in Payne Subdivision. This bridge was damaged by flash flooding that occurred back in March. Parish officials are working with the Office of Facility Planning and Control for the use of State Capital Outlay funds for its replacement with a new drainage structure.
Another flood-damaged structure is located on the Good Hope Road, where the Parish continues to seek a right-of-entry for the construction of a temporary detour road around the bridge until such time as it can be replaced under the Federal Off-System Bridge Replacement Program.
A third bridge — located on the Robeline-Provencal Road over Coal Kiln Creek — was recently closed after an inspection by the Parish Engineer revealed critical deficiencies affecting its load-bearing capacity. Parish forces have begun the necessary repair work but some materials needed to complete the repairs to this bridge are not expected to be delivered until the week of November 21. Based on this expected delivery date, it is anticipated that this bridge will be re-opened to traffic no later than the end of November.
Parish officials have recently observed that the barricades previously placed at these closed bridge locations have been removed by unathorized persons and that unauthorized traffic has crossed these bridges.
President Nowlin reminds citizens that these bridges are considered to be structurally unsound, and therefore they should not be crossed by vehicular traffic under any circumstance.
Mr. Nowlin also reminds citizens that removing or going around road closure barricades is a violation of State law and, as such, violators will be referred to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office for action.
Citizens having information as to the parties responsible for the unauthorized removal of the road closure barricades at these sites should contact the Sheriff’s Office at (318) 357-7800.