Bridge could be removed
By Howell Dennis
ESTHERWOOD – The pontoon bridge on La. 91 that crosses the Bayou Plaquemines may be removed soon to replace a pontoon bridge over the Humble Canal that connects Freshwater City to lower Vermilion Parish.
The bridge over the Humble Canal is in danger and needs to be replaced.
However, that does little to ease the frustration of the citizens of Estherwood who would be left without a bridge on La. 91. Without the bridge those traveling north or south to Estherwood would have to detour through Crowley or Jennings to reach their town.
“They are saying that it will only be gone for three months but you know that means at least four or five,” said Phyllis Stewart who works at the Estherwood Country Store. “We have delivery trucks, salesmen, not to mention all the school buses that use that bridge. It would be quite an inconvenience.”
Stewart’s frustration seemed to pale to that of Estherwood Mayor Bill Maples.
“I didn’t even find out about this until last Wednesday, and that was from a worker at the bridge,” said Maples. “I spoke to Jack Montoucet (U.S. Representative), Lee Hebert (Director of the Acadia Office of Emergency Preparedness), and several members of the Police Jury and they knew nothing about it either. It’s like they’re trying to slip one over on us.”
Maples was quick to point out that La. 91 has been designated by FEMA as a hurricane evacuation route.
“People would have to travel to Crowley up La. 13 or to Jennings up La. 26 and both of those roads are under construction,” he said. “This highway serves as the evacuation route for Gueydan, Midland, and Morse. People don’t understand the importance of that bridge.”
During his interview Monday morning, Maples got a bit of good news when a fax arrived from Lee Hebert which said that it was recommended that a public meeting be held before any final decision was made on the bridge. The bridge had been scheduled to be shut down on July 10.
“Well I guess this serves as something of a reprieve,” said a somewhat relieved Maples.