Work almost complete on Miller Avenue Bridge - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Work almost complete on Miller Avenue Bridge

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WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is wrapping up work on the new Miller Avenue Bridge in Westlake.

Crews are finishing up asphalt work leading up to the new structure. They are paving shoulders, striping and putting in reflectors. Guardrails are also being installed.

The project has been underway since November. The deadline for the work is at the end of this week.

Workers believe the bridge and roadway will be complete sometime this week, but it's still unclear when it will be open. The permanent guard rail barriers will be installed next week. Once that is done, the bridge will open. 

Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Hal McMillin said it's been a long wait but it will be well worth it.

"The old bridge was in bad need of repair. This new bridge will last for another 60-plus years and is going to be stronger and safer for motorists," said McMillin. "We just don't want to open it until it's completely done and safe for motorists." 

According to McMillin, an estimated 15,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day.

Since the construction started, motorists have been detoured around the project through Westlake on Sampson Street.

Westlake resident Bud Cole said it's been an inconvenience for a lot of people.

"Right now it's terrible. You would almost think you're in Baton Rouge at quittin time. A person just doesn't know how bad it is unless they drive through," said Cole. "But despite the delays and inconvenience, we needed this bridge and are happy it is almost done." 

The old bridge was more than 50 years old and needed to be replaced. The project was 100% federally funded.

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