Intracoastal Waterway Bridge project in WBR delayed
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 1:04:45 PM
Baton Rouge – Unexpected settlement discovered during construction of the LA 1 replacement bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in West Baton Rouge will cause construction delays. The project could be delayed up to 10 months because of excessive settlement of the piles under each of the 17 new bridge columns.

There will be no impacts to the travel lanes on the current LA 1 bridge and construction delays on this project will not cause further inconvenience to the traveling public. Motorists should continue to be aware of construction vehicles and equipment adjacent to LA 1 throughout the project and always use extreme caution when driving through work zones.

After the settling was discovered, geotechnical personnel from DOTD and the contractor determined that additional or longer piles was an option to lessen the excessive settling. In lieu of adding more or longer piles, this issue will be mitigated using an alternative soil improvement technique called low-mobility grouting, whereby grout is injected into the ground beneath the piles to compact loose soils.

This $57.7 million project, which began in April 2022, will replace the current southbound bridge with a new bridge that will be constructed on the west side of the existing structure, in addition to realigning Ernest Wilson Drive and LA 1 to connect with the new bridge.

The second phase, which is scheduled to go to bid after Phase 1, will remove both of the existing original bridges and construct a new northbound bridge, as well as replace frontage roads on the south side of the bridge. Once both phases are completed, there will be a new southbound bridge that has three 12-foot lanes and 10-foot shoulders, and a new northbound bridge with two 12-foot lanes and 10-foot shoulders and a barrier-separated exit lane for I-10 eastbound.