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The bridge is open to traffic.

Bridge on John Hardy reopens

After more than four months, and what feels like longer for many drivers in Abbeville, the bridge on South John Hardy Drive reopened Monday afternoon.
The bridge had been closed since Nov. 30, 2017, when officials with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development unexpectedly closed the bridge after an inspection.
“There has been some tremendous patience,” Councilman Francis Plaisance said. “We have been receiving all these phone calls about the bridge.
“It’s a lot more traveled than even I realized.”
Work on the bridge finished last week. However, the city needed final approval from the state to be able to reopen the bridge.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting, the City Council voted to approve partial payment to L&R Construction out of Kaplan. Tuesday’s payment will come to $64,766.03, 90 percent of the total cost of the work.
“There is a lien period in the contract,” Engineer Richard Primeaux said. “We will hold 10 percent during that 45-day period.”
The company will receive the final $7,196.23 after the punchlist is completed. That includes making sure the work area is properly cleaned up.
“We don’t expect there to be any
complications,” Primeaux said.
The city is not footing the entire bill. Vermilion Parish Police Jurors Paul Bourgeois and Ronald Darby are contributing funds to the project. Those contributions are expected to cover more than $25,000.
“We want to thank the Police Jurors for their participation,” Mayor Mark Piazza said.
Plaisance asked if the bridge has been approved for 18-wheelers.
“It’s rated for 35 tons right now,” Primeaux said. “We’re looking at maybe getting it rated higher, but we didn’t want to hold up the reopening of the bridge.
“We will (eventually) look at getting a higher rating.”

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