CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Black Bayou Pontoon Bridge remains closed after being struck by a barge late Monday night.
According to the Department of Transportation and Development, a tug attempted to pass through the waterway before the bridge had opened. DOTD said the tug then struck the end of the pontoon and bent the arm that attaches the pontoon to the bridge.
"We're going to try to expedite this as quickly as possible because everybody knows the importance of this entrance to and from the island," said Stacy White, an area engineer for DOTD. "It's been declared an emergency so that way we'll be able to speed up the repair time."
DOTD is advising motorists to take the Grand Lake Pontoon Bridge to and from the Grand Lake Island while the bridge is closed.
Residents from Cameron Parish said the Black Bayou Bridge closure is affecting their daily commute economically.
"It's costing me a lot of money and fuel mileage right now and fuel is real high, so I wish they could fix the bridge," said Cecil McArthur, a resident of Cameron Parish.
While the Grand Lake Pontoon Bridge is the only working route to the island, other residents argue there should be a back-up pontoon for emergencies.
"If something happens to the Grand Lake Bridge between now and whenever they get the Black Bayou Bridge fixed, we're all in a mess," said Monty Pearce, a resident of Grand Lake Island.
DOTD crews assessed the damage on Tuesday. The department is currently working with a contractor to see how quickly they can start repairs.