Louisiana has reduced the truck weight limit on the westbound lanes of the Interstate 10 bridge over Lake Pontchartrain from 80,000 to 70,000 pounds. The state transportation department said it was reducing the weight limit on the “twin-span” bridge to decrease damage to the metal bridge panels. If the weight reduction doesn’t help to decrease damage, department officials will consider more restrictions, says Gordon Nelson, assistant secretary of operations.
The 70,000-pound weight limit applies to all truck and trailer combinations, and the limit for single vehicles is 40,000 pounds. Loads weighing more than 70,000 pounds but less than 90,000 pounds can use the Causeway Bridge as an alternate route, and other loads can use I-55. Both eastbound and westbound spans will remain closed to oversize and overweight permit loads until a new twin bridge is built in about three years.
The westbound span between Slidell and New Orleans was damaged badly during Hurricane Katrina, but partially repaired with prefabricated bridge sections to form two 12-foot lanes that were reopened to most traffic Jan. 6. Before Katrina, the 5.4-mile I-10 bridge averaged 55,000 vehicles daily.
More information is available at the Truck Permit Office at 800-654-1433.