DENHAM SPRINGS, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) held a ceremony for the Juban Road Interchange at Interstate 12 today. The overpass section of the project is open to traffic; the I-12 on- and off-ramps are still closed to traffic but are expected to open to traffic by April 12.
DOTD celebrated the opening of the interchange this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry. Other speakers included U.S. Congressman Richard Baker; State Senator Heulette “Clo” Fontenot; State Rep. Dale M. Erdey; Livingston Parish President Michael “Mike” Grimmer; and Denham Springs Mayor James “Jimmy”Durbin.
“The Juban Road project experienced some setbacks caused by Hurricane Katrina,” said Bradberry. “But working together with our contractor we were able to overcome those setbacks and provide the Denham Springs area with a new interchange.”
The Juban Road Interchange at I-12 was delayed because some of the concrete girders had been contaminated with salt water. The girders were housed in a yard in Mississippi that flooded during Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge. Salt water soaked into the girders and damaged the metal strands. If left untreated, oxidation over a 30- to 40-year period could cause corrosion. This corrosion, in turn, could cause cracking and result in pieces of concrete crumbling and falling below the overpass while vehicles passed.
In cooperation with Denton-James, the contractor on the project, DOTD devised an innovative remediation process that cleaned the metal strands and sealed the girders to remove the chance for oxidation. This remediation is ongoing and will continue after the project is opened.
The $16.4-million project began in February 2005. It includes a new five-lane overpass with a center turning lane and on- and off-ramps to I-12 eastbound and westbound. The overpass and interchange will help with congestion at Range Road and give the expanding areas of Denham Springs and Livingston Parish additional access to and from I-12.