The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said Monday that repairs to the Sunshine Bridge connecting Donaldsonville and Sorrento will likely take months.
The bridge was closed last week after it was struck by a crane aboard a barge.
After conducting inspections, DOTD says key load-carrying components of the bridge suffered significant damage and permanent repairs will be necessary.
“The damage is to key members of the bridge and has rendered it unsafe to traffic,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “While we have identified a contractor and are moving forward with expediting this work, it is important to know there is not an easy fix for this kind of damage. There is no temporary fix that will allow us to safely open the bridge.”
Drivers are advised to take the Veterans Memorial Bridge as an alternate route. DOTD will also run an additional Plaquemine/Sunshine ferry until repairs are complete at the following times:
- Monday through Friday, a second boat will run from 5:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, the first boat will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, the second boat will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- When two ferries are in operation, they are scheduled to depart every 15 minutes. When there is only one, it leaves every 30 minutes (departs Plaquemine at :00 and :30, Sunshine at :15 and :45).
DOTD also ruled out the possibility of restoring the White Castle ferry due to needing Coast Guard approval and no longer having access to the former ferry landings.