ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — The Gillis W. Long Bridge will reopen to vehicle traffic at 7 a.m. Dec. 12.
The downtown bridge, commonly known as the Jackson Street Bridge, is one of three connecting Alexandria and Pineville over the Red River. It has been closed since early September for repairs and enhancements, including making it more friendly for cyclists and pedestrians.
"It is on schedule," said Steve Buskie, project engineer with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "That's the day we had from day one."
The town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/18EEuIR ) the $5.26 million improvement project includes replacing the bridge deck, making the surface more bicycle-friendly. The bridge's pedestrian sidewalk is also being replaced along with the pedestrian ramp on the Alexandria side. The approach on the Pineville side is being rebuilt, and several electrical and mechanical components are being replaced or repaired.
The new bridge deck surface is being designed for a smoother ride with less friction, largely to make it easier to travel across on a bicycle. The lanes on the sides of the bridge can't technically be called "bicycle lanes" because they don't meet certain standards, but they are used as such.
Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com