Jimmie Davis Bridge to close in 2015, residents react

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - SouthBossier and Shreveport residents have mixed reactions after finding out aboutthe Department of Transportation and Development's year long closure of the JimmieDavis Bridge for all of 2015, for repairs and improvements. The rehab projectfor the bridge was announced just weeks ago.

About21,000 cars cross the bridge each day, the people who live on both sides of theriver are worried about where all of that traffic will go when the bridgecloses.

ForJudy Mabry, the bridge is an easy link between her house in South Shreveportand her job in South Bossier. "Lately I've been crossing it everyday," she said, but next year, she's going to have to find a new wayaround. "It's going to be a big inconvenience."

TheDOTD is shutting the bridge down to work on structural repairs and evensprucing up the way it looks, with new paint and lights.

"Thiscould mean using more gas, more mileage on the cars, more wear and tear on theother bridge, if it's closed for a whole year," said Mabry.

Despitethe complaints, a DOTD spokesman says that even though the rehab project willcause inconveniences, it is something that needs to be done.

Spokesman Susan Stafford tells KSLA News 12 because the bridge isso narrow, closing down both lanes on the bridge is the only safe option, forboth construction crews and drivers.

"It's been a longtime needing it, so I'll just put up with it,"said Kenneth Lamar, who has lived in South Bossier for 60 years.He knows whatit's like when the bridge has to close for repairs. "It was tough for afew days, but then people adjusted and people got used to it," he said.

Lamarpredicts history will repeat itself. Though he warns, with more people nowliving in South Bossier, dealing with the closure won't be as easy as it oncewas. "It'll just create a lot more traffic here in our area on the parkwayfor us, but we'll get used to it," he said.

Theproject will cost between 15 and 20 million dollars. It will be shut downstarting in January of next year.

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