The two westbound lanes of the Interstate 10 twin-span bridge over Lake Pontchartrain into New Orleans reopened at 6 a.m. today, Jan. 6. Boh Brothers, the company that contracted the work, finished eight days ahead of schedule.
Repairs started on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week schedule Sept. 12, 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina knocked out of alignment 435 segments weighing a total of 309 tons. Sixty-four segments were damaged so badly they had to be discarded. The eastbound left lane will be closed during off-peak hours for the three days after the reopening to allow the bridge to be re-striped back to one-way configuration.
“This milestone puts Louisiana residents one step closer to resuming their normal lives,” says Johnny Bradberry, state transportation secretary. He says lower bridge speed limits – 50 mph westbound side, 60 mph eastbound – and variable message signs will keep traffic running as smoothly as possible. Two Motorist Assistance Patrol vans also will patrol the bridge from U.S. 11 to Oak Harbor/Eden Isle 16 hours a day, seven days a week.