BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The transportation department in Louisiana says it hopes to have one lane open in each direction on a bridge damaged by a barge collision earlier this year.

The department said Wednesday it hopes to have a lane in each direction open on the Sunshine Bridge over the Mississippi River northwest of New Orleans by mid-December.

The bridge was hit by a crane barge Oct. 12.

Crews have begun installing concrete barriers on the westbound side of the bridge in preparation for the lane opening.

Transportation Secretary Shawn Watson said getting one lane open in each direction will not solve travel problems, but it will help until repairs are completed.

State officials have said it will probably be January before repairs are completed.

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