Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel project in Louisiana receives INFRA grant

Aug. 15, 2018

The $45 million grant will be used to replace both the concrete tunnel and the structural steel vertical-lift-span bridge

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao recently joined Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to formally announce the award of a $45 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD).

The grant will be used for the Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement project, which has been on the books in Louisiana for the past couple of years. The Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel, both of which are more than 50 years old, stand side by side and carry S.R. 23. Southbound traffic travels through the tunnel, while northbound traffic goes over the bridge.

According to LADOTD, S.R. 23 carries more than 33,000 vehicles per day and serves as the primary access point to the coastal county known as Plaquemines Parish. 

Both the concrete tunnel and the structural steel vertical-lift-span bridge will be replaced with a single, mid-level fixed-span bridge. The new bridge will have four lanes for motorists, plus a lane designated for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The new bridge is expected to give the area an economic boost by eliminating the delays caused by frequent openings of the current bridge. According to a press release issued by U.S. DOT, the project will improve regional mobility through reduced travel times.

Besides the $45 million INFRA grant, the replacement project is supported by $26.2 million in federal funds allocated to LADOTD and $12 million in federal funds allocated to the Regional Planning Commission. The remaining funding for the project will come through a public-private partnership.


Source: Transport Topics

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