The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote Tuesday on an emergency ordinance to transfer $350,000 from three project funds to pay for critical repairs to the Surrey Street bridge over the Vermilion River near Lafayette Regional Airport.

In a Monday e-mail to Public Works Director Tom Carroll and Associate Director Pat Logan, City Engineer Mitch Wyble details four problems with the span including failing embankments on both the east and west approaches that are compromising the road surface, the rocker bearing mechanism that allows the bridge to move freely has jammed, and several areas of concrete railing on the bridge have been damaged and need to be repaired. Logan, in a follow-up memorandum to Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley, amplifies Wyble’s concerns:

Inspection of the bridge on Surrey STreet has revealed serious deficiencies that could result in the necessity of closure of the bridge in the near future. Temporary steps have been taken to allow the bridge to remain open safely for a short time; however this issue should be addressed immediately.

The emergency ordinance calls for the transfer of $40,000 from the 2009 Bridge Renovation account, $100,000 from the 2010 Bridge Renovation account and $210,000 in surplus funds from the Camellia Boulevard Extension project. Because the ordinance is an emergency measure, the council can forgo the normal two-week wait between approving introductory and final ordinances and approve the ordinance Tuesday.

Repairs to the bridge are expected to take six weeks. Read the ordinance and related documents here.

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