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Award of Merit: Highways/Bridges: Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project

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The $1.2-billion Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project was completed in June by a team led by Louisiana TIMED Managers. This is the only freight rail bridge on the Mississippi River, and the project is one of 16 in the $4.6-billion Louisiana TIMED Program.

Photo courtesy of Louisiana TIMED Managers
2007: The Huey P Long Bridge before the widening.
Photo courtesy of Louisiana TIMED Managers
Overall wide shot of the Huey P. Long Bridge, a rail and vehicle bridge crossing the Mighty Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish, La.
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During the seven-year project, which began in April 2006, the driving surface on the bridge was more than doubled to 43 ft wide from 18 ft. To do this, the project team moved three trusses on barges and then lifted them 150 ft into place. The largest truss was 528 ft long and 114 ft tall and weighed 2,650 tons.

The engineering innovations put in place on the current project, combined with the engineering firsts on the original construction, allowed the bridge to be retrofitted and expanded rather than replaced.

The spans were built on barges separately, reducing exposure to hurricanes and requiring only a couple of weeks to brace the entire panel and make it stable in hurricane winds. It also improved work conditions and safety for personnel and the traveling public by erecting a good portion of the steel on barges—much safer and easier than working 200 ft in the air next to live traffic.

Louisiana TIMED Managers completed the contract ahead of schedule and well within budgeted cost—less than 3% above the bid price.

Key Players

Owner New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, New Orleans

General Contractor Louisiana TIMED Managers (a joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff, G.E.C. Inc. and Michael Baker Corp.), Baton Rouge, La.

Lead Design Modjeski & Masters, New Orleans

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