The U.S. 11 bridge between Slidell and New Orleans will be shut down to traffic starting today, running through April 18. Department of Transportation Spokesperson Rodney Mallett says it’s the continuation of a lengthy repair process that won’t be completely finished until the summer of 2020.

“Concrete structural repairs, the deck is going to be replaced, it’s going to be repainted, and there’s going to be a new finger system installed.”

The repairs will cost 28 million dollars.

Mallett says the nearly 100-year-old structure has numerous electrical problems and often puts commuters in a bind.

“As this bridge has gotten older, and we’ve seen this happen a lot with some of our older infrastructure, the bridge would get stuck open and back up traffic forever. It became kind of unreliable.”

Mallett says the closure will end up re-routing thousands of motorists.

“On US 11 there’s about five or six-thousand people a day, so it’s a pretty well travel road.”

And says if you’re looking to cross Lake Pontchartrain from the Slidell area, you’ll need to take I-10 instead.

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