River bridge to be closed off and on Thursday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

[9/23/03]Drivers can expect delays Thursday as the Interstate 20 bridge over the Mississippi River is closed intermittently to remove scaffolding from the painting project that began nearly a year and a half ago.

Both lanes in the eastbound and westbound lanes will be closed for 15 minutes each hour between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to the plan.

Workers will use a crane to remove metal scaffolds that painters have stood on to sand and paint the 30-year-old structure, said Marshall Hill, the project engineer for the Louisiana Department of Transportation.

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The work by Texas Bridge Inc. began in the spring of 2002 and was expected to take three years when it started.

The project is expected to be complete in about two months as workers continue to touchup areas of the bridge, Hill said.

The project cost an estimated $11 million with 80 percent paid by the Federal Highway Administration and Louisiana and Mississippi departments of transportation each paying 10 percent.