Twinspan Bridge not yet open to oversize, overweight trucks

| 1/13/2006

Although the Twinspan Bridge in New Orleans – a major route through the region – reopened to traffic a week ago, officials say the newly repaired bridge will remain off-limits to oversize and overweight trucks.

Instead, truckers must detour on Interstate 55. The detour will add about 60 miles to the trip, according to a source at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

The bridge – which carries Interstate 10 over Lake Pontchartrain – was destroyed by tidal surge after Hurricane Katrina reached land on Sept. 29, 2005. It was scheduled for completion by Jan. 14, but New Orleans-based Boh Bros. Construction Co. finished the $30.9 million contract nine days ahead of schedule, with a $75,000 incentive for each day they finished before the project’s deadline.

However, the over-dimension problem won’t be a problem for much longer – the existing four-lane bridge is scheduled for replacement by a new six-lane bridge. LaDOTD spokeswoman Lindsay Ruiz told “Land Line Now” the new span will be built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

Ruiz said they hope to have the new bridge constructed and open to traffic in about three years.