Crossing Ouachita to get easier this weekend - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

UPDATE: Crossing Ouachita to get easier this weekend

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Good news for commuters in the Twin Cities, the Lea Joyner Bridge is open.

The reopening comes after two months of the bridge being closed for work to replace ball bearings.

Initially, officials thought the closure could cause major traffic back-up in other areas of town, but for the most part, traffic traveled smoothly during the closure.

Along with the reopening of the Lea Joyner Bridge, closed entrance and exit ramps along Interstate 20, closed during the bridge construction, have opened back up.

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - According to the Louisiana DOTD the Lea Joyner Bridge may open as soon as this Friday (8/2/13). That's well ahead of the original date for reopening on Friday, August 9th.

The concrete has been poured and will be tested Friday morning. Officials say if it passes the strength test, the bridge will open shortly after. If not, the bridge will be tested again on Saturday.

Either way, DOTD officials hope to have the bridge open for good this weekend. The drawbridge, that serves as a major crossing over the Ouachita River, has been closed for two extended periods over the summer to install new ball bearings and make other repairs.

It was originally thought the bridge closures would result in major back-ups on Interstate 20. However, there have not been a dramatic increase in accidents and incidents related to the closing. 

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