DOTD breaks ground for new Twin Span Bridge
Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 12:00:00 AM

SLIDELL, La. – Federal and state transportation officials broke ground today for the new I-10 Twin Span Bridge, which will replace the Twin Span Bridge between New Orleans and Slidell that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

Speakers at the groundbreaking included Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry, U.S. Department of Transportation Undersecretary Jeffrey Shane, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis and Boh Bros. Secretary-Treasurer Stephen Boh, the contractor for the work.

 “This new bridge is a sure sign that we are headed down the road to recovery in a very big way,” said Blanco. “We are building a Louisiana that will be stronger, safer and better than before. I thank the President and Congress for the funding to make this vital project a Louisiana reality.”

 “This is another step toward making Louisiana transportation less vulnerable to hurricanes,” said Bradberry.  “This bridge will be safer in the event of an evacuation, and the stronger design will increase the bridge’s chance for survival.”

The new bridge, completely funded with federal dollars, will be built 300 feet to the east of the current bridge.  It will be the largest public works project in the history of Louisiana at a cost of $803 million. 

            The bridge will have an elevation of 30 feet, which is 21 feet higher than the old bridge, and an 80-foot high-rise section near the Slidell side to allow for marine traffic. The increased elevation will allow the bridge to withstand a much higher storm surge. The 60-foot width of each span will include three 12-foot lanes and two 12-foot shoulders on each side. 

DOTD designed the bridge to include reinforced concrete walls. These walls not only increase the bridge’s storm surge resistance, but also minimize the effects of a barge collision.

The bridge is designed for a 100-year life. It will be built entirely with high-performance concrete. This concrete is stronger, denser and less porous than normal concrete. It is also more resistant to corrosion caused by salt water, which leads to the deterioration of the concrete structure that supports the bridge.

 Bradberry said, “The new Twin Span Bridge demonstrates DOTD’s commitment and desire to restore and improve Louisiana’s infrastructure.”

An average of nearly 55,000 vehicles a day traveled the 5.4 miles across Lake Pontchartrain on the twin span prior to the storm.  The new bridge will allow for a 50 percent increase in volume.

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