Miller Avenue Bridge in Westlake to open Monday afternoon - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Miller Avenue Bridge in Westlake opens

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

The Miller Avenue Bridge in Westlake is open.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has wrapped up work on the bridge.

After 10 months of construction, Westlake residents are excited to finally be able to use the bridge.

"It's wonderful. We just couldn't believe our luck today - that it's finally open. We're just going to be going up and down it all day to celebrate," said Kay Sonnier, Westlake resident.

"I heard it was going to be open at three o'clock. I got here and it was opened a little before three. I'm just excited that we are getting the word out to the people. It's now going to be usable for many, many years to come," said Hal McMillin, Calcasieu Parish Police Juror.

While it may be a small bridge, it's going to make a big difference for the people who depend on it. It means no more detours around the construction.

"Oh, it makes a big difference. Since I live here, the main road has been so crowded with traffic. So it's going to mean less traffic on Sampson Street," said Charlene Arabie, Westlake resident.

"For me personally, I drive from Gillis to come to work every day. So I am thrilled to be able to have my shortcut back. Because I've been having to go all the way around Westlake to get to work," said Sandy Smith.

The project got underway in November. The Department of Development and Transportation had 200 work days to complete the job - and they used every bit of the time.

"If you give a man 200 days to do a job ... he's going to take 200 days. So, DOTD needs to tighten up on these working days that they give these guys. This has taken twice as long as we were told in the beginning," said Pat Bennett, Westlake resident.

With the work finally done and the roadway reopened - some said that is water under the bridge.

"I understand things like that because of the weather and other projects. You know, you just can't get everything done like you should. But I think they tried and I think they did a really good job, once they started working on it good," said Arabie.

An estimated 15,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

The new bridge cost $1.5 million and was 100 percent federally funded.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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