After April derailment damages La. bridge crews are still waiting to begin repair project

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A crane in Louisiana sits idle by an overpass that is in need of repair work following a derailment.

An overpass in Shreveport, La., was left in critical condition following an April 24 train derailment when several railcars left the tracks. Two of the three steel support columns on the 83-year-old span suffered structural damage. Cross frame supports also were damaged.

However, the emergency bridge repair project still remains in limbo and the Spring Street overpass, which carries traffic along north S.R. 1 and into Shreveport, is still closed. On May 15, Huval and Associates Inc. was told to start bridge repair work, but as of June 1 the contractor was still gathering materials and bringing equipment to the jobsite. Work is schedule to begin in the coming weeks, and is expected to last about 70 days.

Part of the delay may have been caused by procedural elements. The Louisiana DOTD had to first execute the emergency order and a construction plan needed to be developed before work could begin. The cost of the project is expected to be $1.7 million.

Union Pacific, which owned the train that derailed, and Kansas City Southern both use the track and have been working with the Louisiana DOTD. Bridge work will be going on while train traffic moves through the area.

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