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Author Topic: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement  (Read 2675 times)

longhorn

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2022, 10:35:42 PM »

From my view, all it seems reducing the speed limit has done is create a barrier between those traveling a reasonable speed and what the road is designed for (70-75 mph) and those following 55-60 mph. Driving it recently, I noticed a lot of tailgating, brake slamming, weaving in and out, because of the speed differentials.

I donít think the low speed limit has helped anything, except to make people in power feel better.

I still donít see a reason why a lower speed is warranted from an engineering and traffic standpoint. Itís a straight road that traffic routinely moves at 70-75 mph when not congested with often little issues.

You don't understand why a 50 year old bridge built in an extremely unfavorable environment, might need specific constraints to prevent catastrophic damage?

The bridge does need replacing, but that's a $2 billion project, minimum, and will likely take the better part of a decade.
The entire I-81 project in Syracuse is $2.25B, which includes rebuilding I-690, rebuilding the I-81/I-481 interchanges and widening I-481 in spots..  That cost is nowhere near prohibitive if Louisiana works with FHWA.

According to FHWA, estimated bridge replacement cost for bridges on the NHS system in Louisiana was $192 per square foot in 2017.  For now, let's ignore what inflation has done since then.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridges are approximately 96,000 feet long (96,096 per Wikipedia...let's use an even 96K here).  To fit 4 travel lanes and standard (4ft inside, 10ft outside) shoulders plus bridge railings (I'm assuming 1ft width per railing), you would need at least 80ft of width.  96Kft * 80ft * $192/sq ft ≈ $1.47 billion.  Making the bridge 6 lanes would push that close to $2B.

The cost becomes "prohibitive" in Louisiana in the sense that there are already a number of big ticket items on their plate, including I-49 South, I-49 through Shreveport, I-69, and replacing the big I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, not all of which are funded.

I think your estimate might even be generous seeing how these bridges through unstable swamp land are not your normal bridges.  They have the pilings of close to a 100' tall bridge.  It may not be much to a state like New York, but Louisiana is not a very rich state.

I don't think these bridges get the credit for being the engineering marvel they are.  Glenwood Canyon gets all the praise, but I think the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge should get as much praise. 

True.
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bwana39

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2022, 11:30:51 AM »

The fines are doubling and camera enforcement including tickets by mail are coming to the Atchafalaya Basin I-10 bridges.

https://www.thecentersquare.com/louisiana/louisianas-edwards-signs-bill-to-allow-speed-cameras-on-atchafalaya-basin-bridge/article_6c7ebac6-f18b-11ec-ba77-1f543105932e.html

Doug Warner KSLA  (From Facebook)
1d  ∑
Not that I’m aware if I’ve ever sped across this south Louisiana I-10 bridge, but daaang! You won’t even be able to speed in the middle because they’ll be timing you on the ends. Starting August 1st, if you cross it in less than 18 minutes, you’ll get a speeding ticket. By the way, it’s 18.2 miles long. #SoKeepItUnder60

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/well-i-ll-be-reaction-from-la-state-trooper-as-he-realizes-he-s-just-pulled-over-head-of-lsp-for-speeding/ar-AAZn0Ll?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=e70b272f220e4e5385a06a3c14e09515

Good.  People drive way to fast on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.  It's a delicate bridge and it has a low speed limit for a reason.  Don't upset the vibration because you are an impatient reckless diver.

What is the bridge's resonance frequency? Sounds like a design issue to me.

I don't know, I am not that smart.  Just drive slower on it so it won't collapse is all I got out of the article I read some years back.  Of course it's a design issue.  It's Louisiana. 

I remember as a kid this being built, not sure its pathetic or sad about the condition of the bridge. Louisiana need to tap into the Infrastructure money and design a replacement.

I think everyone in Louisiana knows this.



Building new I-10 bridges on a new alignment really creates additional environmental concerns. I really don't think clearing additional marsh / cypress swamps will go over well. As I see it, the current ROW is pretty much the canvas they have to paint on. The replacement bridges need to be built in as close to the current footprint as possible. That probably means to demo one of the existing bridges and  make the other one 2-way. Once it is built, the first new bridge should be able to host 4 12' lanes with no shoulders.

 

There is even some debate if the construction equipment and construction activities (especially driving piles) could cause failure of the existing bridge(s). It MIGHT entail a TOTAL closure.


I-20 in Texas is a KEY example of what happens when you close a single lane on a major interstate route. Just the short throttle points for reconditioning a mile of pavement more or less can cause two to three hour delays. What if a ten-mile stretch were to be closed like this?

There needs to be good relief routes in place BEFORE this can happen. The first of those would be I-49 from Lafayette to Westwego.  The second is US-190.  US-190 needs one or both of the following to happen before it is a decent choice. Either freeway from US-190 in Port Allen to I-10 or a new bridge on the north side of Baton Rouge connected to US-190 and at least I-110! Both Baton Rouge projects would be nice in addition to I-49.

So I-49 and an upgraded US-190 both need to be in place before the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridge can be replaced.  Then the US Congress will have to dedicate some funds to do this job specifically. Just like the replacement of the I-10 twin spans over Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana cannot afford to pay for the replacement.  While I-49 is not cheap, this job will be monstrous.


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longhorn

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2022, 02:01:36 PM »

There is space between the spans to build a new bridge and then demo one of the old spans and so forth.  Similar to whats done on land when using the median to build the new right of way and shift traffic to it and rebuild the outer lanes. The engineering is possible, but as stated, its all about the money.

Still trying to understand the accident problem. Been on bridge when everyone is going north of 70 MPH. No problem but also been stuck on it for an hour when I should believed Google and took 190.
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bwana39

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2022, 04:27:26 PM »

There is space between the spans to build a new bridge and then demo one of the old spans and so forth.  Similar to whats done on land when using the median to build the new right of way and shift traffic to it and rebuild the outer lanes. The engineering is possible, but as stated, its all about the money.

Still trying to understand the accident problem. Been on bridge when everyone is going north of 70 MPH. No problem but also been stuck on it for an hour when I should believed Google and took 190.

Where do the barges go in your scenario?

As to the accidents. Any disabled vehicle closes at least one lane. Then the gridlock begins even if one lane remains open the entire time and even that rarely is the case.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2022, 06:16:04 PM »

From my view, all it seems reducing the speed limit has done is create a barrier between those traveling a reasonable speed and what the road is designed for (70-75 mph) and those following 55-60 mph. Driving it recently, I noticed a lot of tailgating, brake slamming, weaving in and out, because of the speed differentials.

I donít think the low speed limit has helped anything, except to make people in power feel better.

I still donít see a reason why a lower speed is warranted from an engineering and traffic standpoint. Itís a straight road that traffic routinely moves at 70-75 mph when not congested with often little issues.

You don't understand why a 50 year old bridge built in an extremely unfavorable environment, might need specific constraints to prevent catastrophic damage?

The bridge does need replacing, but that's a $2 billion project, minimum, and will likely take the better part of a decade.
The entire I-81 project in Syracuse is $2.25B, which includes rebuilding I-690, rebuilding the I-81/I-481 interchanges and widening I-481 in spots..  That cost is nowhere near prohibitive if Louisiana works with FHWA.

According to FHWA, estimated bridge replacement cost for bridges on the NHS system in Louisiana was $192 per square foot in 2017.  For now, let's ignore what inflation has done since then.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridges are approximately 96,000 feet long (96,096 per Wikipedia...let's use an even 96K here).  To fit 4 travel lanes and standard (4ft inside, 10ft outside) shoulders plus bridge railings (I'm assuming 1ft width per railing), you would need at least 80ft of width.  96Kft * 80ft * $192/sq ft ≈ $1.47 billion.  Making the bridge 6 lanes would push that close to $2B.

The cost becomes "prohibitive" in Louisiana in the sense that there are already a number of big ticket items on their plate, including I-49 South, I-49 through Shreveport, I-69, and replacing the big I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, not all of which are funded.
Those other big ticket items are for new Interstate alignments.  I-10 is a matter of preservation and should take priority.

Mmmmm....no.

I-49 South is an upgrade of an existing highway that is already Interstate grade for most of its length, and also solves a huge bottleneck with the Evangeline Thruway through Lafayette.

The I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge replacement is a replacement of a bridge that is in even worse shape than the Atchafalaya Swamp viaduct.

The I-10 widening through Baton Rouge....speaks for itself.

The Shreveport ICC might be slightly less of a priority due to the existence of LA 3132 and I-220 as an effective bypass, but it does serve a need of access to downtown Shreveport as well as removing a gap in I-49 through Shreveport.

The only real new Interstate alignment listed here is I-69, and that probably won't be a priority for years.

Ultimately, I-10 through the Atchafalaya Basin needs to get the same treatment that the I-10 across Lake Ponchatrain got after Katrina....but unless we get a Cat 6 hurricane surge that topples the bridges from a super storm surge, the funding for that will have to wait until the other priorities get finished.
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Rothman

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2022, 07:06:51 PM »

From my view, all it seems reducing the speed limit has done is create a barrier between those traveling a reasonable speed and what the road is designed for (70-75 mph) and those following 55-60 mph. Driving it recently, I noticed a lot of tailgating, brake slamming, weaving in and out, because of the speed differentials.

I donít think the low speed limit has helped anything, except to make people in power feel better.

I still donít see a reason why a lower speed is warranted from an engineering and traffic standpoint. Itís a straight road that traffic routinely moves at 70-75 mph when not congested with often little issues.

You don't understand why a 50 year old bridge built in an extremely unfavorable environment, might need specific constraints to prevent catastrophic damage?

The bridge does need replacing, but that's a $2 billion project, minimum, and will likely take the better part of a decade.
The entire I-81 project in Syracuse is $2.25B, which includes rebuilding I-690, rebuilding the I-81/I-481 interchanges and widening I-481 in spots..  That cost is nowhere near prohibitive if Louisiana works with FHWA.

According to FHWA, estimated bridge replacement cost for bridges on the NHS system in Louisiana was $192 per square foot in 2017.  For now, let's ignore what inflation has done since then.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridges are approximately 96,000 feet long (96,096 per Wikipedia...let's use an even 96K here).  To fit 4 travel lanes and standard (4ft inside, 10ft outside) shoulders plus bridge railings (I'm assuming 1ft width per railing), you would need at least 80ft of width.  96Kft * 80ft * $192/sq ft ≈ $1.47 billion.  Making the bridge 6 lanes would push that close to $2B.

The cost becomes "prohibitive" in Louisiana in the sense that there are already a number of big ticket items on their plate, including I-49 South, I-49 through Shreveport, I-69, and replacing the big I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, not all of which are funded.
Those other big ticket items are for new Interstate alignments.  I-10 is a matter of preservation and should take priority.

Mmmmm....no.

I-49 South is an upgrade of an existing highway that is already Interstate grade for most of its length, and also solves a huge bottleneck with the Evangeline Thruway through Lafayette.

The I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge replacement is a replacement of a bridge that is in even worse shape than the Atchafalaya Swamp viaduct.

The I-10 widening through Baton Rouge....speaks for itself.

The Shreveport ICC might be slightly less of a priority due to the existence of LA 3132 and I-220 as an effective bypass, but it does serve a need of access to downtown Shreveport as well as removing a gap in I-49 through Shreveport.

The only real new Interstate alignment listed here is I-69, and that probably won't be a priority for years.

Ultimately, I-10 through the Atchafalaya Basin needs to get the same treatment that the I-10 across Lake Ponchatrain got after Katrina....but unless we get a Cat 6 hurricane surge that topples the bridges from a super storm surge, the funding for that will have to wait until the other priorities get finished.
Pfft.  The I-10 Bridge is more important than I-49.
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bwana39

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2022, 08:18:32 PM »

Pfft.  The I-10 Bridge is more important than I-49.
[/quote]

  I-49  has a far lower overall utility. I agree with that ...BUT.  I don't think you can rebuild I-10 and keep it open. That makes I-49 a pre condition for the closure or throttling of I-10.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2022, 03:59:10 PM by bwana39 »
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2022, 10:20:41 PM »

From my view, all it seems reducing the speed limit has done is create a barrier between those traveling a reasonable speed and what the road is designed for (70-75 mph) and those following 55-60 mph. Driving it recently, I noticed a lot of tailgating, brake slamming, weaving in and out, because of the speed differentials.

I donít think the low speed limit has helped anything, except to make people in power feel better.

I still donít see a reason why a lower speed is warranted from an engineering and traffic standpoint. Itís a straight road that traffic routinely moves at 70-75 mph when not congested with often little issues.

You don't understand why a 50 year old bridge built in an extremely unfavorable environment, might need specific constraints to prevent catastrophic damage?

The bridge does need replacing, but that's a $2 billion project, minimum, and will likely take the better part of a decade.
The entire I-81 project in Syracuse is $2.25B, which includes rebuilding I-690, rebuilding the I-81/I-481 interchanges and widening I-481 in spots..  That cost is nowhere near prohibitive if Louisiana works with FHWA.

According to FHWA, estimated bridge replacement cost for bridges on the NHS system in Louisiana was $192 per square foot in 2017.  For now, let's ignore what inflation has done since then.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridges are approximately 96,000 feet long (96,096 per Wikipedia...let's use an even 96K here).  To fit 4 travel lanes and standard (4ft inside, 10ft outside) shoulders plus bridge railings (I'm assuming 1ft width per railing), you would need at least 80ft of width.  96Kft * 80ft * $192/sq ft ≈ $1.47 billion.  Making the bridge 6 lanes would push that close to $2B.

The cost becomes "prohibitive" in Louisiana in the sense that there are already a number of big ticket items on their plate, including I-49 South, I-49 through Shreveport, I-69, and replacing the big I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, not all of which are funded.
Those other big ticket items are for new Interstate alignments.  I-10 is a matter of preservation and should take priority.

Mmmmm....no.

I-49 South is an upgrade of an existing highway that is already Interstate grade for most of its length, and also solves a huge bottleneck with the Evangeline Thruway through Lafayette.

The I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge replacement is a replacement of a bridge that is in even worse shape than the Atchafalaya Swamp viaduct.

The I-10 widening through Baton Rouge....speaks for itself.

The Shreveport ICC might be slightly less of a priority due to the existence of LA 3132 and I-220 as an effective bypass, but it does serve a need of access to downtown Shreveport as well as removing a gap in I-49 through Shreveport.

The only real new Interstate alignment listed here is I-69, and that probably won't be a priority for years.

Ultimately, I-10 through the Atchafalaya Basin needs to get the same treatment that the I-10 across Lake Ponchatrain got after Katrina....but unless we get a Cat 6 hurricane surge that topples the bridges from a super storm surge, the funding for that will have to wait until the other priorities get finished.
Pfft.  The I-10 Bridge is more important than I-49.

Those of us who actually live in South Louisiana would differ with that opinion.
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Rothman

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2022, 10:29:23 PM »

From my view, all it seems reducing the speed limit has done is create a barrier between those traveling a reasonable speed and what the road is designed for (70-75 mph) and those following 55-60 mph. Driving it recently, I noticed a lot of tailgating, brake slamming, weaving in and out, because of the speed differentials.

I donít think the low speed limit has helped anything, except to make people in power feel better.

I still donít see a reason why a lower speed is warranted from an engineering and traffic standpoint. Itís a straight road that traffic routinely moves at 70-75 mph when not congested with often little issues.

You don't understand why a 50 year old bridge built in an extremely unfavorable environment, might need specific constraints to prevent catastrophic damage?

The bridge does need replacing, but that's a $2 billion project, minimum, and will likely take the better part of a decade.
The entire I-81 project in Syracuse is $2.25B, which includes rebuilding I-690, rebuilding the I-81/I-481 interchanges and widening I-481 in spots..  That cost is nowhere near prohibitive if Louisiana works with FHWA.

According to FHWA, estimated bridge replacement cost for bridges on the NHS system in Louisiana was $192 per square foot in 2017.  For now, let's ignore what inflation has done since then.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridges are approximately 96,000 feet long (96,096 per Wikipedia...let's use an even 96K here).  To fit 4 travel lanes and standard (4ft inside, 10ft outside) shoulders plus bridge railings (I'm assuming 1ft width per railing), you would need at least 80ft of width.  96Kft * 80ft * $192/sq ft ≈ $1.47 billion.  Making the bridge 6 lanes would push that close to $2B.

The cost becomes "prohibitive" in Louisiana in the sense that there are already a number of big ticket items on their plate, including I-49 South, I-49 through Shreveport, I-69, and replacing the big I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, not all of which are funded.
Those other big ticket items are for new Interstate alignments.  I-10 is a matter of preservation and should take priority.

Mmmmm....no.

I-49 South is an upgrade of an existing highway that is already Interstate grade for most of its length, and also solves a huge bottleneck with the Evangeline Thruway through Lafayette.

The I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge replacement is a replacement of a bridge that is in even worse shape than the Atchafalaya Swamp viaduct.

The I-10 widening through Baton Rouge....speaks for itself.

The Shreveport ICC might be slightly less of a priority due to the existence of LA 3132 and I-220 as an effective bypass, but it does serve a need of access to downtown Shreveport as well as removing a gap in I-49 through Shreveport.

The only real new Interstate alignment listed here is I-69, and that probably won't be a priority for years.

Ultimately, I-10 through the Atchafalaya Basin needs to get the same treatment that the I-10 across Lake Ponchatrain got after Katrina....but unless we get a Cat 6 hurricane surge that topples the bridges from a super storm surge, the funding for that will have to wait until the other priorities get finished.
Pfft.  The I-10 Bridge is more important than I-49.

Those of us who actually live in South Louisiana would differ with that opinion.
Those of us that recognize the national importance of the bridge differ with you as well.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2022, 03:54:44 AM »

Thankfully, Louisiana and LADOTD, via the state Legislature, sets infrastructure priorities, not AARoads roadgeeks.

You want us to sacrifice everything else to widen I-10 through the Atchafalaya Swamp? Show us the federal money.

Otherwise, let us determine our own priorities.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2022, 02:42:39 PM »

It's impossible to replace the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridges and other similar I-10/I-55 bridges in Louisiana without nearly all the funding coming from federal sources.

There is about 125' of space between the two existing I-10 spans. That's enough space to hold at least one of two possible replacement spans. A 125' diameter is barely enough room for a single bridge structure holding both directions of traffic in a 3x3 lanes configuration plus outer right and inner left shoulders. Building anything new between the existing pair of bridges would disrupt the boating traffic using those bayous. Building new bridge structures to the outside of the existing ones would require quite a bit of new ROW. There are no houses to clear. But there would be environmental and cost concerns for having to clear out a bunch of trees and dredge out an even wider boating channel. LaDOT and the federal government need to be strategizing on this stuff already.

US-190 would be an acceptable detour route between Lake Charles (using US-165) and Baton Rouge for I-10 construction. Unless a major hurricane damages the existing I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridge structures it's not likely anything would happen with replacing those bridges until much or all of the I-49 South project is completed. Still, there is a lot of population migration going to Texas, other parts of the Deep South and the Southwest US. That translates to I-10 carrying an ever growing amount of traffic.
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Rothman

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2022, 03:32:04 PM »



Thankfully, Louisiana and LADOTD, via the state Legislature, sets infrastructure priorities, not AARoads roadgeeks.

You want us to sacrifice everything else to widen I-10 through the Atchafalaya Swamp? Show us the federal money.

Otherwise, let us determine our own priorities.

That's not how DOT capital project programming works. 

Just like all other states, LA receives a big chunk of federal funds each year, divvied into its fund sources.  In fact, most states spend more federal than state funds, once all the reimbursements go through.  So, saying that somehow LA uses solely its "own money" outside of special federal projects is incorrect and the argument that because LA uses non-federal funds that it should determine its own priorities based on that idea is unfounded.

That all said, sure, get more federal money to fix the I-10 bridge and prioritize it properly:  #1.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2022, 08:11:47 PM »

You are missing the point here.


Yes, the bulk of infrastructure funding in Louisiana comes from the Feds, but it is still the state through DOTD (with guidance with MPO's if in larger metro areas) that set the priority of projects. The states first establish which projects they want sooner, and then they go to the Feds for funding.


Also, the states have their transportation plans that set megaproject priorities; those are updated every 5 or so years through a thorough process that vets projects in matter of importance.


Louisiana has long since decided that I-49 South, the I-10 widening through Lake Charles including the replacement of the Calcasieu River bridge, and the widening of I-10 through Baton Rouge are higher priorities at this time than rebuilding the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin viaduct. Who are you to tell them otherwise? Are you going to foot the $2B needed to fund all the other priorities while you get I-10 upgraded? Unless we get unlimited funds (federal OR state), or I-10 gets tolled to pay for a full upgrade (not happening, although there is a proposal to convert the inside shoulder lanes to toll express lanes to accompany the free GP lanes), you will just have to put up with driving a bit more careful there and watching the speed limits....or just take the scenic route of I-49/US 190/LA 415.


Yes, ultimately I-10 through the swamp will have to be dealt with, but there is enough time for other far more pressing priorities to get done before we get to that point.


Again, if you want it done so bad as to shade other needed projects, show the money. Otherwise, let us set the priorities.




« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 10:38:20 PM by Anthony_JK »
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Rothman

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2022, 11:24:51 PM »

No, again, that is not how federal funding works.  The bulk of federal funds a state receives is not dependent upon the specific projects in a state's capital program.  For a long time now, federal apportionments have been just a calculated percentage of the previous federal bill.  We've gone a decade now of this simple approach, rather than using formulas based upon a whole host of factors of characteristics of their transportation system.

The STIP is merely an enabling document that FHWA checks when DOTs request authorization of funding and it must be constraines to a state's federal apportionments.  It isn't as big of a deal as is made out on this forum sometimes, despite the frustrations DOTs may experience when compiling them through working with MPOs and other organizations.  It actually gets updated nearly constantly due to project changes (something of a dirty little secret), despite whatever update cycle LA has settled on (I'd imagine more frequently than five years -- States typically and officially update their four or five year programs every two to three years).

Certainly Louisiana can set its own priorities, but claiming that such decisions are above criticism from any out-of-staters is a bit silly, given we are talking about a national system of highways.  Fact of the matter is that they've made the wrong decisions in their priorities, since I-10 should be #1 because of its importance compared to the other projects it is focusing on instead.  LA can certainly push for receiving special federal funding beyond their apportionments for such an important project.

And who am I?  Just someone who's had a hand in guiding a capital program that's billions of dollars larger than Louisiana's for a career...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 11:47:48 PM by Rothman »
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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2022, 11:27:43 PM »

It's impossible to replace the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridges and other similar I-10/I-55 bridges in Louisiana without nearly all the funding coming from federal sources.

There is about 125' of space between the two existing I-10 spans. That's enough space to hold at least one of two possible replacement spans. A 125' diameter is barely enough room for a single bridge structure holding both directions of traffic in a 3x3 lanes configuration plus outer right and inner left shoulders. Building anything new between the existing pair of bridges would disrupt the boating traffic using those bayous. Building new bridge structures to the outside of the existing ones would require quite a bit of new ROW. There are no houses to clear. But there would be environmental and cost concerns for having to clear out a bunch of trees and dredge out an even wider boating channel. LaDOT and the federal government need to be strategizing on this stuff already.

US-190 would be an acceptable detour route between Lake Charles (using US-165) and Baton Rouge for I-10 construction. Unless a major hurricane damages the existing I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridge structures it's not likely anything would happen with replacing those bridges until much or all of the I-49 South project is completed. Still, there is a lot of population migration going to Texas, other parts of the Deep South and the Southwest US. That translates to I-10 carrying an ever growing amount of traffic.
If this is correct, the answer is build one direction of bridge in the median, for about 65-70 feet of width (could have a sidewalk or bike lane). Decide which bridge you want to replace in place, demo that and move its traffic onto the new median span. Replace it in place, then shift all traffic over to the new bridges and demo the other old one. (Or keep the old ones for roadgeekdom.)

bwana39

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2022, 10:15:32 AM »

It's impossible to replace the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridges and other similar I-10/I-55 bridges in Louisiana without nearly all the funding coming from federal sources.

There is about 125' of space between the two existing I-10 spans. That's enough space to hold at least one of two possible replacement spans. A 125' diameter is barely enough room for a single bridge structure holding both directions of traffic in a 3x3 lanes configuration plus outer right and inner left shoulders. Building anything new between the existing pair of bridges would disrupt the boating traffic using those bayous. Building new bridge structures to the outside of the existing ones would require quite a bit of new ROW. There are no houses to clear. But there would be environmental and cost concerns for having to clear out a bunch of trees and dredge out an even wider boating channel. LaDOT and the federal government need to be strategizing on this stuff already.

US-190 would be an acceptable detour route between Lake Charles (using US-165) and Baton Rouge for I-10 construction. Unless a major hurricane damages the existing I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridge structures it's not likely anything would happen with replacing those bridges until much or all of the I-49 South project is completed. Still, there is a lot of population migration going to Texas, other parts of the Deep South and the Southwest US. That translates to I-10 carrying an ever growing amount of traffic.
If this is correct, the answer is build one direction of bridge in the median, for about 65-70 feet of width (could have a sidewalk or bike lane). Decide which bridge you want to replace in place, demo that and move its traffic onto the new median span. Replace it in place, then shift all traffic over to the new bridges and demo the other old one. (Or keep the old ones for roadgeekdom.)

The median is there for a purpose. A purpose that is still in all likelihood needed purpose. If you watched the video about how they built the existing bridges, the median was a lagoon if you will for barges to hold the equipment to build the bridges. Some of the median is solid ground. Much if not most is slog / mud / swamp. Equipment has to have a platform to stand up. That platform was floats / barges.

The next question and it really is unknown. is if the percussion and vibration of construction activities would cause the existing bridges to sink and most likely not uniformly.

On the surface, the median seems like a wonderful solution.
Can it be kept open even for one lane each way?
And where is the money going to come from? The state certainly cannot afford it even if they put all of their money toward it.  Like Bobby said nearly if not) all of the funding coming from the feds.
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seicer

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2022, 10:17:59 AM »

Is the existing bridge in that bad of condition that it needs replacement? It appears they started to widen the bridge at its westernmost end by simply building into the median while retaining the existing structure.

ethanhopkin14

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2022, 10:22:10 AM »

Is the existing bridge in that bad of condition that it needs replacement? It appears they started to widen the bridge at its westernmost end by simply building into the median while retaining the existing structure.

I don't know if its "that bad" or not.  Logic tells me, its length (over 18 miles) plus age and plus the very unsteady swamp it was built on is a recipe for it to age must faster than a smaller bridge built on rocky soil. 

Any bridge carrying that much truck traffic over several miles will wear down fast, no matter how well it was built.
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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2022, 10:50:01 AM »

No, again, that is not how federal funding works.  The bulk of federal funds a state receives is not dependent upon the specific projects in a state's capital program.  For a long time now, federal apportionments have been just a calculated percentage of the previous federal bill.  We've gone a decade now of this simple approach, rather than using formulas based upon a whole host of factors of characteristics of their transportation system.

The STIP is merely an enabling document that FHWA checks when DOTs request authorization of funding and it must be constraines to a state's federal apportionments.  It isn't as big of a deal as is made out on this forum sometimes, despite the frustrations DOTs may experience when compiling them through working with MPOs and other organizations.  It actually gets updated nearly constantly due to project changes (something of a dirty little secret), despite whatever update cycle LA has settled on (I'd imagine more frequently than five years -- States typically and officially update their four or five year programs every two to three years).

Certainly Louisiana can set its own priorities, but claiming that such decisions are above criticism from any out-of-staters is a bit silly, given we are talking about a national system of highways.  Fact of the matter is that they've made the wrong decisions in their priorities, since I-10 should be #1 because of its importance compared to the other projects it is focusing on instead.  LA can certainly push for receiving special federal funding beyond their apportionments for such an important project.

And who am I?  Just someone who's had a hand in guiding a capital program that's billions of dollars larger than Louisiana's for a career...


Oh, the old "my state is bigger than yours, so I can tell you how to run your state highway program" card.

I'll simply ignore that, and agree to disagree. We set our priorities based on our needs, not out-of-staters' feelz.



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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2022, 01:33:24 PM »

Quote from: seicer
Is the existing bridge in that bad of condition that it needs replacement?

Bridges like that have only so long a life span. The Atchafalaya Basin bridges opened in 1973, almost 50 years ago. I strongly doubt if those bridges are going to last another 50 years.

It's also worth mentioning I-10 is being widened from the I-49 interchange to the Atchafalaya Basin bridges.
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seicer

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2022, 05:43:21 PM »

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel are older yet persist without outright replacement. The NBI has a very high sufficiency rating for the Atchafalaya Basin bridges, too. I suspect that the lack of structural steel and the relatively simple construction helps.

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2022, 07:39:11 PM »

Is the existing bridge in that bad of condition that it needs replacement? It appears they started to widen the bridge at its westernmost end by simply building into the median while retaining the existing structure.

The bridges are in fairly good shape for their age. Here are the bridge reports http://bridgereports.com/1223505.

It might help if Louisiana cleaned their bridges as the shoulders would be better prepared for problems.

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #72 on: August 10, 2022, 08:51:11 PM »

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel are older yet persist without outright replacement. The NBI has a very high sufficiency rating for the Atchafalaya Basin bridges, too. I suspect that the lack of structural steel and the relatively simple construction helps.
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel viaducts are being replaced entirely by a new 8 lane structure. The only component remaining in tact is the existing two 2 lane tunnels.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2022, 04:20:34 AM »

Quote from: seicer
Is the existing bridge in that bad of condition that it needs replacement?

Bridges like that have only so long a life span. The Atchafalaya Basin bridges opened in 1973, almost 50 years ago. I strongly doubt if those bridges are going to last another 50 years.

It's also worth mentioning I-10 is being widened from the I-49 interchange to the Atchafalaya Basin bridges.

Maybe not 50 years, but if the inspection reports are true, the viaducts do still have a ways to go before they need to be replaced.

Remember that it took a 25+ foot storm surge from Hurricane Katrina to topple the I-10 span across Lake Ponchatrain near Slidell, which prompted its immediate replacement with the greatly improved model.

When the time does come to replace it, they should do what they did for the I-10 span: build an entirely new and widened viaduct just to the south of the existing one (3 lanes in either direction, with Interstate-grade shoulders on both sides and "crossunders" for emergencies) with new structures for the Whiskey Bay and main Atchafalaya River channel high-rises. Retain portions of the existing viaduct as piers for fishermen and tourists wanting to soak up the environment. Upgrading the Butte la Rose rest area would be a good thing, too.
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MASTERNC

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Re: Atchafalaya Basin I-10 Bridge New Speed Enforcement
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2022, 06:05:13 PM »

If they set up as described, this would be the first "average speed" camera in the U.S.  They're all over Europe (especially the UK and Italy).
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