The existing Twin Span Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, La. was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The powerful storm surge knocked many of the bridge’s concrete segments into the lake. As part of a joint venture team, Kiewit began work in January 2007 on the 1.1-mile-long high-rise portion of the new twin I-10 bridges over the lake into New Orleans.
To prevent this from reoccurring, the new bridge is higher, bigger and stronger. The fast-track project includes building two parallel structures east of the existing bridge with an elevation of 30 feet-21 feet higher than the old and an 80-foot high-rise section near the Slidell side to allow for marine traffic. The 60-foot width of each span will include three 12-foot lanes and two 12-foot shoulders on each side. The project consists of constructing two miles of pre-cast, prestressed concrete girders with 32 piers and 52 bents.
The overall project is the largest public works project in the history of Louisiana to date at a cost of $803 million and will allow for a 50 percent increase in traffic volume. The westbound bridge is scheduled for completion in late 2009, and the eastbound bridge is slated to open two years later.