FRENCH SETTLEMENT -- Work will begin within the next two years on a new South Amite River Bridge along La. 16, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced Monday.

The decision was based on the bridge condition, posting-load limits, and effort required to open the bridge to marine traffic, the department said in a press release.

The current bridge is a swing-span bridge with approximately 15 feet of vertical clearance, while the proposed new bridge will be a fixed bridge with approximately 31 feet of vertical clearance.
 
The current plans call for the project to go to bid during the 2019-20 fiscal year, which would lead to a construction date between September 2019 and August 2020.
 
Construction on the $21.3 million project will take two to three years.
 
The roadway is currently not anticipated to be closed during construction. The new bridge crossing will be on a slightly offset alignment -- about 50 feet to the west -- so the existing roadway and bridge can maintain traffic during construction. 
 
Ground vibrations near structures adjacent to the pile driving will be monitored in accordance with DOTD standard specifications. If during the course of pile driving, vibrations exceed established limits, pile driving will be stopped and evaluated to determine what measures are necessary to reduce vibrations.

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