Road upgrades also underway on U.S. Hwy. 90 in Paradis, Des Allemands
As work continues toward the $24 million upgrade for Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge, the road closures have begun and the bridge closures will soon follow.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is putting in asphalt crossovers to shift traffic in anticipation of the eventual closing of half of the bridge, DOTD spokeswoman Bambi Hall said.
“We did southbound side in previous weeks and began working on northbound side this past weekend,” Hall said of the road work.
The complete closure of the bridge, also known as the Luling Bridge, is scheduled after the weekend of Mardi Gras, she said.
The bridge is part of Interstate 310 through St. Charles Parish. The structure connected Louisiana Highway 18 on the West Bank and Louisiana Highway 48 on the East Bank initially. Ten years later, the bridge was incorporated into the newly completed I-310.
“If schedule holds, we will be closing southbound side first for two to three months followed by the northbound side,” she said of the bridge closures.
DOTD said the bridge project is designed to preserve the existing structure. Hall said plans are to remove and replace the bridge deck, and overlay about a half mile of the superstructure with a lightweight concrete. Work also will include crack mitigation in the steel deck.
In Des Allemands, Councilman Paul Hogan, who represents the area, said DOTD work underway there is removing several medians and adding left turn lanes at other existing medians.“It’s a lot of median work,” he said of changes the DOTD considers safety upgrades although Hogan disagrees with that premise. He anticipates they will actually contribute to accidents in the area.
In Paradis, work is underway on drainage and catch basin work in anticipation of installing raised medians that Hogan said that were strongly opposed as a potential traffic hazard.
Work started on the $2.1 million project on U.S. 90 from LA 306 to Early Street in August and should be completed by January.
Hogan said safety upgrades were desired to address numerous rear-end accidents, but opposed raised medians as a potential contributor to more accidents.
DOTD proceeded with raised medians despite the opposition. Hogan said striped medians, such as those in Boutte and Luling, as “suicide lanes” and that it doesn’t build them anymore, which Hogan also strongly disputed.