Skip to main content

BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer

A dangerous St. Landry Parish bridge is scheduled to receive top priority funding.

Parish president Jessie Bellard told the Parish Council Wednesday night that a decades-old wooden bridge spanning Bayou Courtableau is scheduled to be replaced as soon as revenues are available.

“The project is being pushed up on the (bridge replacement) priority list,” Bellard explained during a regular Council meeting.

Bellard did not specify a projected cost for repairing the bridge.

District 6 council member Ken Marks said during a committee meeting earlier this month that the Courtableau bridge is hazardous. The bridge is also important, Marks said, since it not only provides a major bayou crossing, but it additionally provides east and west access from U.S. 190 to nearby Port Barre.

“The bridge is in dire need of repair. This particular bridge does not have any edges, no borders on it. It is just flat. We had a situation in the ice (January) storm where that bridge was completely iced over. A barricade was put up to protect the safety of the public,” Marks noted during the committee meeting.

School buses now avoid crossing the bridge due to condition issues, added Marks.

Marks said parishes receive money from federal sources which allows parish officials to select which bridges need attention. Marks said the Courtableau bridge should receive maximum attention.

During the committee meeting, Marks requested that Bellard prioritize the project.

“All I want to do is make sure we don’t let this fall through the cracks and let us do what we have to do to get this thing done for the safety of our citizens,” said Marks.

Parish emergency director Van Reed assured Marks that Bellard and other officials are aware of the condition of the bridge.

Marks said motorists are inconvenienced because the bridge is in disrepair.

“There are alternate routes, even though (drivers) may not like them. Basically it involves a seven-mile trip,” Marks added.