NEW ORLEANS, La. – With final structural and mechanical repairs completed, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today, at a special media event, that it has secured the funding to paint the Judge Seeber (Claiborne Avenue) Bridge. The project is slated for spring 2012.
The bridge, which carries an average of 26,255 commuters daily, links New Orleans with the Lower and Upper Ninth Wards, and St. Bernard Parish. In September 2009, DOTD began a $6.7 million rehabilitation project designed to extend the life of the structure.
“With the recent repairs to the bridge, painting it is the last piece of the puzzle – which will not only improve the beauty of this bridge, but also extend the life of the bridge for generations to come,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas.
The cost to paint the bridge is estimated to be $10-15 million and the project will be federally-funded under the Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program. The project is scheduled to accept bids this fall, with work expected to begin spring 2012.
“It is with great excitement that I can now announce the Judge Seeber/Claiborne Bridge will be refurbished with a painting, which will begin in the spring of 2012,” said Rep. Nita Hutter (Chalmette), who chairs the House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee. Hutter added, “This is a major step towards renewing economic development opportunities. Knowing we have a reliable structure will entice industries to explore St. Bernard Parish, as well as this portion of the Industrial Canal.”
The existing paint system contains lead; therefore, it will require a full containment system for paint removal and lead abatement.
“The safety improvements and painting of the [Judge Seeber] Bridge were one of my top priorities. Thank God for the persistence of the Lower Ninth Ward families and the cooperation of DOTD,” said Senator Cynthia Willard-Lewis. “The community deserves reliable and safe access that also looks fresh and clean. This project sends the signal that positive changes are underway.”
“This is long overdue! I am proud of the response of DOTD and excited to see the end result! The painted bridge will make mine and other commuters’ travels across the Judge Seeber Bridge a daily delight," said Rep. Charmaine Marchand-Stiaes. “The completion of this newest upgrade will surely resonate with the communities who share this route daily.”
In May of this year, DOTD completed the final phase of repairs to the 54-year old structure, replacing its decking and stringers – the structural steel beams that hold up the deck, in preparation of the paint project. The operator house was also repainted.
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).