U.S. 11 Bridge set to open by end of March
Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 2:17:26 PM

U.S. 11 Bridge set to open by end of March

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. 11 Bridge is scheduled to open by the end of March.

The rehabilitation project included concrete and structural repairs, grid deck replacement, painting, installation of a new fender system and the rehabilitation of electrical and mechanical systems on the two drawbridges.

The last remaining task before opening the bridge is to balance the moveable spans.

Initially, the contract called for concrete block counterweights, but the moveable bridge leaf was too heavy. Engineers performed multiple calculations and determined that steel counterweight blocks were instead needed to balance the bridge. At that point, the contractor secured and installed all steel counterweight blocks that vendors had in stock, but additional blocks needed to be fabricated. The bridge components are manufactured offsite by various vendors.

Over the last two months, two shipments of steel counterweights were received and installed.

DOTD, like many other businesses, is feeling the impacts of shipping and manufacturing delays. Tuesday afternoon, the contractor received 10 more pallets of steel counterweights, but the complete order did not come in. Six additional pallets are expected to ship soon. The weights are crucial to balance components of the bridge. Initially, the final shipment of weights was scheduled to arrive on February 4.

In addition to the challenge of balancing components of the bridge, the contractor has worked through typical structural, mechanical, and electrical issues. These tasks are common for major mechanical bridge rehabilitation projects.

Despite these setbacks, work is progressing. This week, the contractor began striping the bridge and continued completing punch list items.

The $28.36 million project began in August 2018. This major reconstruction project has a contract time of three years. Since then, multiple weather events, COVID-19, and other unforeseen circumstances have delayed the reopening of the U.S. 11 Bridge.

All construction activity is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. DOTD appreciates the motoring public’s patience and reminds drivers to please exercise caution when traveling through work zone areas and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information.

Chris Welty