New Empire Bridge celebrated with Ribbon Cutting CeremonyJun 19th, 2012 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: top story
A little over a month after it opened to road traffic, an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Empire Draw Bridge was held June 12. District 7 Councilman Jeff Edgecombe led the ceremony and spoke about how happy he was for his district to have an alternative route in and out of Empire.
“It’s been a long, hard fight to get this bridge open but we are thrilled to have an alternative route for residents,” said Edgecombe.
Long-time Empire resident Ann Griffice took to the podium and spoke about how elated they were to live once again, “in a united Empire.” Griffice explained that she’s had three major blessings in her life: one was moving back to Empire after Katrina, another was the restoration of St. Ann’s church, and the newest blessing was the opening of the Empire Bridge.
Borden Wallace, Executive Vice President for Daybrook Fisheries was also in attendance, and stressed to the crowd how important it is to South Plaquemines and to his company, to have another means to enter and exit the Southern end of the parish.
“For seven years I’ve lived in fear that the whole lower end of the parish would be cut off if something happened to the Highway 23 bridge,” said Wallace. “This new bridge is an example of rebirth in the area.”
The Empire Bridge was originally built in 1950. It was removed in 2006 by the Louisiana Department of Development and Transportation, and the DODT’s work on the new bridge remained stagnant until 2008. The bridge was officially opened for traffic May 7.