New Orleans, La. – Today, Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, along with federal, state and local officials, celebrated the completion of the new Caminada Bay Bridge - a $51.3 million construction project that began in early December 2009 and was completed in February 2012 – eight months ahead of the originally projected finish date.
“The ability to deliver quality projects under budget and ahead of schedule remains a top priority for our department,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. “The completion of the new Caminada Bay Bridge will greatly enhance economic opportunities and industry transportation in the area.”
The project replaced the old Caminada Bay Bridge on La. 1 to Grand Isle with a new concrete girder span bridge. The new bridge has two lanes of traffic, two 8-foot shoulders and is elevated 48 feet, approximately 30 feet higher than the old bridge, to allow larger boats to pass. To ease the impact to motorists, traffic remained on the old bridge until the new one was opened.
The 1.2-mile project will serve two parishes, Jefferson – where it is located – and nearby Lafourche, just six miles away and home to Port Fourchon, one of the most vital energy corridors in the United States.
Over the last four years, DOTD has invested over $704 million to transportation and infrastructure improvement projects in Jefferson Parish. Additional investments made in the southern-most part of the state include the recently completed La. 1 Expressway in neighboring Lafourche Parish, totaling $137.5 million, which will further enhance transportation as a critical access and evacuation route for the Grand Isle/Port Fourchon area.
Nearby, area businesses such as the Grand Isle Ship Yard, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Wood Group Wireline Service and Bollinger Shipyard will also benefit with the heightened elevation of the new bridge to allow larger boats to pass as they go about day-to-day operations. Additionally, the South Lafourche Airport will see an increase in its total aircraft activity now that more goods can be delivered faster.
"I am proud of this signature bridge, which was completed for the people of the Grand Isle community and beyond," said Senator John Alario. “Improving transportation is a win-win for everyone, and this bridge symbolizes what a responsive government can do for its people.”
“Nearly five years ago, when I ran for state representative, I said one of our biggest needs in infrastructure was bridges,” said Representative Jerry “Truck” Gisclair. “Today marks a significant milestone in improving this corridor that is so very important as the nation’s premiere preference for intermodal energy.”
“I would like to thank Governor Jindal, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and DOTD for making this project possible,” said Jefferson Parish President John Young. “This administration has invested over $704 million in our parish and more than $4.1 billion across the state. That kind of commitment will continue to improve the quality of life for many residents for years to come.”
“It is a great day for the residents and visitors of Grand Isle,” said Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle. “The opening of this new bridge is further proof of this administration’s efficiency and professionalism. I’m glad our state sees the value in developing a quality infrastructure.”
The project was awarded as a joint venture to Johnson Bros. & F. Miller/Orion Construction, Inc. for $51.3 million. It was funded by the Federal Highway Administration and state funds.