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Former sheriff candidate is calling for a fourth bridge

Posted: Updated: April 29, 2013 10:44 PM

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's the Northeast Louisiana version of carmageddon.

"It's going to be an inconvenience but it's a needed improvement," Motorist Randy parker said. 

Parker lives in West Monroe but his mother lives in neighboring Monroe. Starting June, his commute may not be a short one anymore. He turned out Monday to a public meeting with questions in hand, hoping to avoid a traffic nightmare.

"It will be a big deal. We'll have to get used to it and make some adjustments in scheduling and timing," Parker said. 

The Lea Joyner Bridge is shutting down to vehicle and foot traffic all June and again starting July 10, for four weeks because of maintenance work.

"During the replacement of the bearings underneath the bridge, they're going to replace some approach slabs on the west side of the bridge," DOTD Operations Manager John Eason said. 

The Louisiana Department of Transportation says 40,000 drivers will be diverted to another route.

"On a less traveled way, I might be able to sue the Endom Bridge," Parker said.

The Endom Bridge is one alternate route. It's currently used by its traffic maximum of 10,000 drivers a day. Interstate 20 is another way around the mess and has already up to 85,000 cars crossing the Ouachita River each day.

Former candidate for sheriff of Ouachita, Joe Brady says a fourth bride is needed. Brady believes a connector should be built from Trenton Street in West Monroe to Forsythe Avenue in Monroe. He believes it'll help ease traffic, even when the Lea Joyner Bridge is open.

The second public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30 P.M. at Monroe City Hall.
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