Huey P. Long Bridge Prepares for Tomorrow’s “Big Lift II”
48-hour Roadway Traffic Closure in Effect
JEFFERSON, La. – On Nov. 20, the $1.2 billion Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project will have its second of three massive bridge segment lift using multiple barges and strand jacks. Lifts of this size and scope are extremely uncommon in bridge building. The bridge segment, bigger than a football size field, will provide the narrow bridge the capacity to add lanes allowing the narrow bridge the capacity to add lanes. The four-span bridge, which serves as one of the three major Mississippi River crossings in the New Orleans metro area, will restrict roadway and river traffic for 48 hours due to the sensitive nature of the event.
Similarly to the first lift, a 48-hour complete closure of roadway traffic during a weekend period is required. The full bridge closure is scheduled to start at 5 a.m. Saturday, November 20 and will end at 5 a.m. on Monday, November 22. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes, including the Crescent City Connection and Interstate 310.
The $453 million contract to widen the truss is expected to be completed in 2012. By then, an estimated 17,500 tons of structural steel and 750,000 new bolts will be used during this phase of the project. The entire Huey P. Long Bridge Widening project cost is estimated at $1.2 billion. Construction on the original 75-year old structure began in 1932 and was completed in December 1935 at a cost of $13 million. Today, it is considered one of the longest railroad bridges in the United States.