A representative from the state’s transportation department gave a brief overview of the upcoming Interstate-210 bridge repair project, set to begin this fall.
The meeting, held Tuesday night at the Sulphur Regional Library, was the second of six planned throughout Calcasieu Parish.
“A lot of you are asking why do this project now,” said Tammy York, public information officer for Louisiana DOTD. “We want to be proactive in our infrastructure. Let’s ensure the integrity of this bridge.”
Nebraska-based contractor Kiewit Louisiana Co. was awarded the project for their $35 million bid, and a projected time-line considerably shorter than offered by competitors.
The project scope includes replacing 930 feet of decking, installing five inspection bridges and some lighting.
Eric Jones, Kiewit Louisiana bridge project manager, said two of the company’s innovations will give them “an edge on the timeline.” The first phase of the five-phase project employs both of them. The first step in the project will be the installation of a “safespan,” or corrugated deck, which will be attached to the bottom of the girders.
He said the safespan will be used to stage materials and to allow crews to drill the thousands of holes required in the construction of the inspection bridges.
Next will be a “job built crane” that will preclude the need to station multiple cranes on a barge in the river. “We had to look at how to build this job from on top and eliminate the water work,” said Jones.
“Once we pull the deck off the girders, we set the cranes on there.” He said as many as three cranes will be set on gliders, allowing them to move. “This lets us work on multiple headings at a time,” Jones said.
York said those two steps will comprise the first phase. The second and third phases will be the major bridge work and the fourth and fifth will be lighting installation and finishing touches.
York said major bridge work will begin with the closure of both eastbound lanes. The westbound lanes will be two-way traffic. The contractor has the option to close a third lane between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., Monday through Thursday, except on holidays. During a third-lane closure, while work is underway on the eastbound side, only westbound travel will be allowed. During work on the westbound lanes, only eastbound traffic will be allowed. The contractor must provide five days advanced notice before closing a third lane. The notice will be posted on MyDOTD, at www.dotd.la.gov.
Contract time is 365 days and project completion is expected in Fall of 2019. York noted the contract time means 365 work days and weather or other developments may affect that timeline.
The next public meeting will be from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, August 28, at Westlake City Hall.
For more information, visit www.dotd.la.gov.