What was supposed to be a three-week repainting job has turned into a 12-week nightmare for commuters who use the Judge Seeber Bridge over the Industrial Canal. And there appears to be no end in sight.
The Seeber Bridge is the main connection from the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish into the city. But since it closed for re[painting in early August, most of the traffic it would ordinarily carry has been shifted onto the nearby St. Claude Avenue Bridge, an ancient, narrow, low-rise drawbridge that seems to go up every time the smallest boat cruises down the canal. Traffic often snarls into full gridlock on both sides of the bridge, turning what were once 20 minute commutes to work into hour-long nightmares on many days. Emergency vehicles, including ambulances, are often stuck in traffic with everyone else, their sirens wailing in vain while standing still.
DOTD officials originally said the bridge would reopen in early September. That later moved to mid-October. Then three weeks ago, the completion date was moved to early November. Tuesday, when asked if she could say when the bridge would actually reopen, a DOTD spokesperson told WGNO News cryptically, “Not as of yet.”
There seems to be no light at the end of this bridge.