I-49 interchange with I-220 in Caddo Parish wins transportation award for technology, innovation
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 3:59:06 PM

I-49 interchange with I-220 in Caddo Parish wins transportation award for technology, innovation

Construction site demands, bridge design, and concrete strength testing are just a few of the elements that earned the recently completed I-49 interchange with I-220 in north Shreveport, Caddo Parish the regional award for “Best Use of Technology and Innovation.” The award was presented to DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. today by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

(Pictured L to R: Carlos Braceras - President of AASHTO, Dr. Shawn Wilson - DOTD Secretary, Jim Tymon - CEO of AASHTO)

The $142 million I-49 Segment K Phase 2 interchange was officially opened to the public in October 2018, and includes the first pre-cast segmental bridge connected with post-tensioned cables that has been built in the state.

“This interchange, as well as every segment along the I-49 north corridor, is a testament to what we can accomplish when we all agree on the importance of – and take action toward – strategic infrastructure investment,” Wilson said. “This award is well-deserved and I continue to commend everyone at DOTD, the designers, and contractors who worked tirelessly on this project.”

The interstate interchange was one of 81 projects from across the nation that were entered into AASHTO’s annual contest highlighting improvements to quality of life, technology and innovation, and construction operations through these infrastructure projects.

AASHTO reviewed contest entries for their use of innovation in this category. For this project, DOTD and the prime contractor PCL Construction were able to put the concrete casting yard on site and build all bridge segments there rather than having them trucked in from another location. This was a much more efficient way to cast the segments, and allowed for longer span lengths for the bridges.

Design demands for the project included building an angular interchange to match the curve of I-220, an interstate with active traffic directly under the location of the overpass construction. This required particularly long overpass bridges and straddle bents, all while both directions of I-220 underneath were being completely re-constructed.

Public involvement wasn’t left out, with contest entries required to show how this vital element was included in the project. Over the course of two decades, nearly 30 meetings and outreach efforts were held for the development of the I-49 north corridor in order to ensure communities and stakeholders were informed along every step of the way.

The AASHTO contest was created to showcase the importance of transportation, and how these projects make communities stronger, economies more efficient, and quality of life better.

As a regional winner, I-49 Segment K Phase 2 will be considered in the AASHTO’s “Top 12” contest, competing with other projects across the nation.

(I-49 Segment K Phase 2 ramp from I-49 southbound to I-220 eastbound, Shreveport.

Photo credit: PJ Hahn Photography)