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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is pleased to announce that repairs to the Big Roaring Bayou bridge on Big Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) have been completed, and the bridge is once again open for public travel. Big Lake is a 19,231-acre WMA owned by LDWF and located in Tensas, Franklin and Madison parishes in northeast Louisiana. The 190 foot one-lane bridge provides access to the southern half of the WMA, as well as a large portion of the adjacent Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Local residents also use the bridge to get to La. Hwy 4/128.
A bridge inspection report had revealed critical deficiencies in the timber sub-structure of the bridge. "In consideration of public safety issues, we had no choice but to close the bridge," said Reggie Wycoff, biologist supervisor of the LDWF regional office in Ferriday. "After high rainfall events and during spring backwater flooding, there can be a tremendous volume of water flowing under this bridge. Had the bridge collapsed under a vehicle during a high-water event, we could easily have had a tragic loss of life."

Shiloh Contractors, Inc. of Shreveport was awarded the repair contract after submitting the low bid of $49,485. C. Keith Capdepon of Newellton provided engineering services. Repair activities consisted of removing portions of the concrete decking, driving new pilings, replacing the decking, then bolting cross-braces to the new pilings. The northern headwall of the bridge was completely reconstructed. A load limit of 15 tons will be posted on the bridge, along with the new warning signs on the approaches to the bridge.

For more information, contact Reggie Wycoff or John Leslie in the Ferriday LDWF office at 318/757-4571.




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