PORT ALLEN, La. — Construction begins in April to replace the decades-old Intracoastal Bridge in Louisiana’s West Baton Rouge Parish.
“This bridge was built back in the 1960s so it’s really outlived its useful life and we spend a lot of time and money on repairs and it can be quite an inconvenience for our travelers on the west side of the (Mississippi) river,” said Rodney Mallett, a spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation and Development.
DOTD said Monday that motorists can expect to see work along La. 1 starting in early April, news outlets reported. The new bridge will be built alongside the existing structure, which is more than 50 years old and has been plagued by issues and safety concerns in recent years.
Kiewit Louisiana won the bid to construct Phase One of the project and is projected to finish the bridge, weather permitting, by early 2023. Ernest Wilson Drive and La. 1 will need to be realigned to meet the new bridge.
“We’re going to build the southbound bridge first and build it wider than it is now,” Mallett said. “It’s going to have three lanes coming off the interstate to the bridge to where it merges with La. 1.”
The $57.7 million project will replace the current southbound bridge with three 12-foot lanes and 10-foot shoulders, while the new northbound bridge will have new shoulders with two lanes and a barrier-separated exit lane leading to I-10 east.
Traffic will be shifted onto the new bridge once it’s complete.
Mallett said Phase Two consists of constructing a new northbound bridge in the location of the existing two bridges scheduled to be torn down. It should be completed by 2026.
Transportation officials are limiting temporary lane closures from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. for “the duration of a single day” during the construction process.
“Any lane closures we’re gonna have during this project will be minimal and done during off-peak hours,” Mallett said.
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