Construction begins on I-310 project

Massana Construction has started work on a $609,155 project to install about three miles of median cable barriers along Interstate 310 in Luling.

The barrier will be installed from U.S. 90 to U.S. 61 in the parish, said Bambi Hall, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). Projected completion is January depending on inclement weather.

Motorists are asked to drive cautiously in the area during work, which will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include intermittent inside lane and shoulder closures.

Hall said the installation of the barriers is an ongoing effort.

“DOTD performs analyses on all interstates throughout Louisiana to determine where cable barriers would be most beneficial in preventing cross-over collisions,” she said. “The criteria used are number of vehicles crossing the median per mile.”

Barrier installation costs $200,000 a mile.

“We estimate that it would cost approximately $60 million to install cable barriers along 300 miles of interstate in Louisiana, where appropriate,” she said.

On the I-310, the barrier is being installed on ground-level portions of the highway. Hall said they are not needed in certain locations such as elevated area of the interstate along the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway and Atchafalaya Basin Bridge or urban areas where concrete barriers already exist or areas where trees cover the median or where there is an extremely wide median.

In 2006, the Louisiana Legislature mandated a feasibility study be done to assess the need for a cable barrier system.

s part of a pilot study, the first two areas to receive cable median barriers were along the entire length of I-12 in St. Tammany Parish (32 miles) and along the entire length of I-10 in St. James Parish (6.8 miles), Hall said. Project costs were $5.3 million and $1.3 million respectively.  I-12 barriers were completed in fall 2009 and I-10 barriers were completed in late 2008.

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