Ferriday bridge repairs near completion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

FERRIDAY — Ferriday’s latest water problem isn’t a problem anymore.

Only cosmetic repairs are left to complete the work that was undertaken to save the Ferriday water intake structure, which moves water from Old River to the town’s treatment plant.

“They could be finished with the work by Friday,” Mayor Glen McGlothin said. “The only thing they have left to do is paint it.”

Putting a new coat of paint on the structure is a far cry from what was needed just weeks ago, when the entire structure was in danger of collapsing and in the process cutting off Ferriday’s water service.

At the time, the structure was leaning to one side because one of its supports had been slowly corroded by an undetected chemical leak over the course of 20 years, causing it to collapse.

Over the past two weeks, work crews have worked to lift and brace the structure.

“They have put a lot of iron on that thing,” Ferriday Water Superintendent Gregory Griggs said. “We don’t have to worry about it falling into the river now.”

The chemical tap from which the leak that caused the corrosion problem on the structure originated was moved to the front of the structure.

It’s also been set up in such a way to ensure that, should there be another leak, it won’t run down onto the structure, Griggs said.

“They have put in a catch basin that will run it off to the ground,” he said.

The town hired the Lafayette-based firms Huval and Associates and Complete Engineering and Construction Inc., to complete the repairs, using a $250,000 demonstrated needs grant it received from the state.