PROJECT UPDATE: Church Street Bridge replacement in Natchitoches Parish

Church St Bridge UPDATE 062017

Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development released an update on the project to replace the Church Street Bridge in Natchitoches Parish.

Lafayette-based consultant C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates has begun the process of studying the area and surrounding community for environmental impacts within the scope of the project.

That process will include developing alternative concepts for the replacement of the Church Street Bridge, which was built in 1936, in addition to exploring options for maintenance of traffic during construction.

During the Environmental Assessment, public meetings and hearings will be held to gather input from stakeholders and residents and provide updates on the progress of the project. Those will likely be scheduled sometime during the next several months. We encourage the Natchitoches community’s comments and participation.

Currently, DOTD and the consultant are gathering input from various agencies, organizations, and individuals for consideration as part of the Environmental Assessment.

No decisions have been made regarding acceptance or rejection of any alternatives, as DOTD must follow a specific process set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) which requires community input in the decision-making process. The adherence to this process is necessary in order to receive federal funding for a project such as the Church Street Bridge replacement.

Several alternatives were referenced in the solicitation of views which was sent to the Natchitoches community. The final alternative will be determined through the Environmental Assessment process which will take into consideration environmental, social, and economic impacts. DOTD is committed to not, in any way, prejudice any of the proposed alternatives for this important project.

Further information on the project will be issued as the Environmental Assessment phase progresses and dates for public meetings are set.

8 thoughts on “PROJECT UPDATE: Church Street Bridge replacement in Natchitoches Parish

  1. I’m with John. I had read that it has repeatedly failed inspection, but due to the “historic powers that be”, replacement was not an option. The next time you’re on Williams avenue waiting to cross the bridge, look underneath, close to the riverbank side. You see all the beams that have been erected as additional support? Scary, isn’t it?

    Now I haven’t looked under that bridge and paid attention in a year or so. Just gotten used to how it was, so maybe things have been moved, I’m not sure. Yeah it’s pretty. Yeah, it’s gonna cause an uproar with traffic and tourism. Yeah, parish people will fuss about the cost, but I’m all for replacing a failing bridge.

  2. Could there be an “Exoskeleton” type structure built around the bridge;where as,to preserve its current main structure and still add new beauty to the existing bridge? A “Second skin if you will.

  3. Will the construction of a new Church Street bridge effect the development of the riverbank project?

  4. Is the present bridge safe? If so, why tear this bridge down and build another 2 lane bridge??? WhaTr

    • The present bridge is not safe. It was rated a D several years ago and has o lay degraded more since then.

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