Bridge work could slow traffic through next week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rush-hour traffic jams in the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 could occur through next week. Traffic has come to a standstill the past two afternoons due to maintenance being done on the Mississippi River bridge.

A steel plate removed earlier in the week has shifted traffic to the right lane, a restriction to last through next week, said Dustin Annison of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

“The speed limit was slowed to 40 (miles per hour), but people have been going normal interstate speed,” Annison said.

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Backups stretched about 5 miles, beyond the Indiana Avenue exit, and lasted from about 4 until 8 p.m.

At least two minor accidents were reported to Vicksburg Warren E-911. 

Work to allow better bridge expansion during periods of excessive cold and hot weather will continue through March, Annison said.

Improving bridge stability is the goal of the project. An independent study in 2006 concluded significant movement in at least one pier supporting the bridge, opened to traffic in the early 1970s.