Hwy. 165 bridge expected to complete in November, shuttle available as project finishes
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The pedestrian bridge that sits on U.S. Highway 165 and Renwick Street in Monroe is far from completion, according to the Office of Mayor Friday Ellis. However, the City of Monroe is continuing to take steps toward completing the project.
The start of the project began May 23, 2022, says Communications Director Michelli Martin of the City of Monroe.
Residents are concerned if it’ll be safe to use while construction is in progress and after the project is complete due to observations of the infrastructure. City Engineer C. Morgan McCallister, P.E. of the City of Monroe told KNOE Wednesday morning there is no work being done to the structural part of the bridge because of a previous inspection.
“It was actually inspected by a third party structural engineer less than a year ago, approximately 11 months ago. So, based on that inspection, there was no need to do any structural modifications or upgrades,” McCallister said Wednesday morning.
A Monroe citizen, Marie Brown, says her major concerns of the bridge are the cracks, a major hole in the walkway of the bridge and black resin rubbing off the stair railings.
“The safety measure of that holding up, spending money; as much money is being spent on this bridge; I just don’t understand that. Not overlaying the bridge to ensure - because if you have that deep hole that’s in that bridge, how are you going to fill that? I mean, I just don’t understand the process of it, but I’m sure that their engineers have a plan for it,” says Brown.
District 3 Councilwoman Juanita Woods says another primary concern is accessibility for handicapped individuals and for those individuals that ride their bikes across the highway.
“When we think back to the deaths that have occurred here at this intersection, a lot of them have been children that have been on their bicycles, so that has been another major concern. Now, understanding after talking to the engineer for this project and for this city, as Ms. Marie said, they said they were going to seal those cracks. I do know that the bridge is safe,” Woods stated.
City Engineer McCallister presented a plan to make sure the bridge will remain safe to use after the project is finished.
“So, the grouting of the cracks, filling of the holes, and there’s going to be a cover - sealer over that, and then, there’s going to be a final sealed cover on the entire deck bridge, and then it will be painted. So, basically a brand new walking deck,” McCallister explained.
The final constructions of the bridge: painting, filling of the cracks, holes, and the walking deck, is a part of the original contract documents, which includes the $880,000, McCallister confirmed.
According to McCallister, most of the work happens at night, and contractors have a pedestrian shuttle on-site available to take residents across the highway while construction is in progress. He says there are other supplies to obtain and coordination efforts to take place as contractors move forward with the project.
Mayor Friday Ellis says the image on the bridge will say “Carroll Bulldogs”, and it will have the Carroll bulldog emblem in the center of the bridge. In addition, Ellis says it will say the “City of Monroe” on the opposite side of the bridge with the new city logo on it. This project is expected to complete in November 2022.
If questions or concerns about the pedestrian bridge/overpass arise, citizens are asked to contact the City of Monroe’s Engineering Department.
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