Murphy Street bridge remains closed after one year

Murphy Street bridge remains closed after one year

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Murphy Street Bridge is still closed after the one-year estimated closure time has been reached. Not only is it affecting commutes, but also emergency response times.

Shreveport Fire Department responds not only to fires, but also medical emergencies. So when they need to get somewhere, they have to get there as fast as possible.

Joshua Oden works at Station 7 on the corner of Line Ave. and Wilkinson St. Station 7 often stays in Highland and isn't affected often by the bridge being out, but in times where they are needed to help surrounding stations, it gets tricky.

"We have to take a few back roads, and cross over some other areas. So we kind of have to zig zag, and some smaller streets to get to that area," he said.

Oden says they can get to the bridge within 2 minutes from the station, but if they needed to get to the other side of the bridge, "It's probably taking me closer to 4 minutes or so."

So why the delay? Cindy Dorfner with DOTD says the project is just under 80% complete, but the largest factor in delays is the weather.

"With the super cold, to the ice and snow and high water, it's just been a nightmare as far as construction goes," she said.

There have also been problems they didn't see till they literally hit them.

"There was a bridge under the ground from the 1920's, and when they went to drive pile, they encountered that bridge. So they had to remove those obstacles, and that caused a little bit of a delay," said Dorfner.

DOTD says the project should be finished and the bridge should reopen by late spring. The fire department is looking forward to that, but the crew at Station 7 says they are always prepared to respond as quickly as possible.

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