|Following the extensive damages from Hurricane Katrina, it was decided that the current Twin Spans were too vulnerable to storm surge and that the long term solution would be to construct two new spans. Ground was broken on July 13, 2006 on the project which will construct two new bridges 300 feet (91 m) east of the current spans. This $803 million project will construct two 3-lane bridges 30 feet (9.1 m) above the surface of Lake Ponchartrain, with an 80-foot (24 m) high rise near Slidell. Each span will be 60 feet (18 m) wide, consisting of three 12-foot (3.7 m) lanes, and 12-foot (3.7 m) shoulders on each side.
The wider bridges will eliminate the bottlenecking that current occurs at both ends of the current bridges and also be able to accommodate 50 percent more traffic than the current twin spans, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
The new bridges will also have traffic cameras and electronic message boards to alert motorists of any potential problems on the bridge, much like the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge.
The new westbound span is scheduled to open in 2009 with the eastbound span to follow in 2011. The old bridges will then be dismantled.|
Location: Eden Isle, LA
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