The spans of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere were connected this morning, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, a major milestone in the building of the John James Audubon Bridge over the Mississippi River.
While the moment was significant, the placing of the final girder was all done in the normal course of working on the $400 million bridge, which stretches 1/3 of a mile over the River and connects the Pointe Coupee Parish/New Roads areas with the West Feliciana Parish/St. Francisville areas. The project began in May 2006 and is slated for completion in late 2011.
Construction of the spans began from both sides of the 500-foot tall towers in early 2010. Now connected, the bridge is still not accessible to vehicle traffic as more work needs to occur to complete the deck itself. Once completed, the bridge will have four travel lanes, 8-foot outside shoulders and 2-foot inside shoulders. The project also includes approximately 12 miles of new approach roads. It will provide the only traffic crossing point on the Mississippi between Baton Rouge, LA, and Natchez, MS, a distance of approximately 90 river miles
"The bridge will drastically reduce commute times and promote economic development while providing a safe and efficient travel route for freight and shipping. The investment of $400 million in the John James Audubon Bridge, as well as a total investment of $4.6 billion in Louisiana’s TIMED Program, is improving the quality of life for motorists, residents, and businesses by enhancing economic development," said Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E.
The project is part of the Louisiana TIMED Program and is being constructed by Audubon Bridge Constructors (ABC), a joint venture of Flatiron Corporation, Granite Construction, and Parsons Transportation Group.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).