WALKER – A replacement for the Travis Street Bridge in Walker is getting closer, according to the project engineer.

It might still be another couple of months, Chad Bacas, of Forte & Tablada, told the Walker City Council on Monday, but that is a short period compared to the 19 months the bridge has been closed.

Three other bridges in the city are waiting on permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and CN Railroad to proceed, Bacas said.

Bacas’ update to the council came seven days after the state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced the bid had been awarded for Travis Street.

Travis Street was paired with the George Mahon Road Bridge, a parish project south of La. 40 in eastern Livingston Parish.

Brown Industrial Construction was awarded the $1.39 million contract, according to DOTD.

The contractor will be going over the project with DOTD, which could take about six weeks, so work could begin in two months, Bacas said.

It could take from 6 to 12 months to complete the project, the council has been told.

“We’re pushing as hard as we can,” to get the project started, he said.

DOTD ordered the bridge closed in November 2017 due to deteriorating timbers.

The project moved along slowly as a replacement bridge would have been larger than the wooden bridge to meet DOTD requirements, but the city had problems locating some landowners.

Forte & Tablada redesigned the bridge to take up less space to reduce the number of landowners affected. The estimated cost is from $400,000 to $500,000.

Meanwhile, a contractor has been selected for the Keith Street project and the city is waiting on a permit from the CN Railroad, Bacas said.

CN has required some borings, since replacing three culverts with a bridge falls within the railroad’s zone, Bacas said.

The Brown Street pedestrian bridge and Elm Street crossing are waiting on permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, he said.

Funding for the Elm Street and Brown Street will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with a 90-10 match.

FEMA approved repairing the Brown Street bridge and replacing the Elm Street bridge since both were damaged by the Great Flood of 2016.

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