Residents aggravated by Choupique Road bridge closure - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents aggravated by Choupique Road bridge closure

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 Residents who live in the Carlyss area off Choupique Road have already had it with a bridge closure causing long detours, and it's only the first week.

However parish officials say the closure is required as part of the rebuild contract.
 And the contractor says safety is an issue, now that they've started on the project.

Families who live south of here say closing the bridge is already a huge inconvenience. Jan Nelson, who lives north of the bridge, rides a 4 wheeler south to visit family members.

If they would take the barricades down and move the dragline, we could still get through.  It's silly to close the bridge when there's nobody working and we could still have access. 

Neighbor Roland LeBrun agrees.

"How come they didn't have the common courtesy for these forty families that live south, on the south side of the road to just back the track hoe up and give us one lane, one lane," said LeBrun.

However, parish officials say  the contractor, Guinn Construction, is excellent and finished early on the south bridge.   Spokesman Mike Guinn says they were there at 6 this morning but got rained out.  Also, he says would be a safety hazard to let residents on the bridge now.
 Normally residents on the south side would jump on this road and travel just three quarters of a mile to get to Highway 108.  But because the bridge is shut down they have to travel about eight miles out of their way to go to the east and about fourteen miles out of the way to go to the west.

 Nelson says it's a huge waste of gasoline for her son and his family.

"They got small children that play softball, that's in tournaments.  Fourteen miles around and fourteen miles coming back and you have to travel it two or three times a day, can you imagine?"

LeBrun figures each family uses about an extra gallon of gasoline a day.

"If each one of them spends one gallon of gas a day that's 40 gallons, almost a barrel of gas a day that we're putting out of our pockets," said LeBrun.
The Carlyss Fire Department has set up a substation south of the bridge in case there are any fires or other emergencies during bridge reconstruction.
The bridge closed Monday. Guinn Construction has 120 days to complete the project.

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