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Author Topic: Ft. Buhlow Bridge (US 71-165) Construction Begins Soon  (Read 4167 times)

Anthony_JK

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Ft. Buhlow Bridge (US 71-165) Construction Begins Soon
« on: December 01, 2010, 04:10:07 PM »

One of the more disruptive bottlenecks in Alexandria, Louisiana, for traffic going N-S is about to get some badly needed relief.

First,  this description of the Fort Buhlow Bridge replacement project from LaDOTD:

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The intent of this project is to construct a four lane divided highway from approximately 1000 feet south of the intersection of 3rd Street and US 71/US 165 to the intersection of Claiborne Street and US 71/US 165. Completing this 2.1 mile long section of four lane roadway will involve the construction of a twin span girder bridge over the Red River, which will replace the current OK Allen Bridge. Additionally, two new bridges will be constructed over the Kansas City Southern railroad tracks to accommodate two lanes of both northbound and southbound traffic. This project will also incorporate service roads in the vicinity of Buhlow Lake to provide easier access to citizens going to the airport and the Red River park areas.

And here's a more detailed description of the project from the engineering firm doing the construction, GEC:

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The Fort Buhlow Bridge crosses the Red River in Alexandria on US 71/165.  This route serves as a major arterial connecting Pineville on the east bank to Alexandria on the west bank.  The new bridge is named for the historic Confederate fort on the east bank built in 1865 under the command of Captain C. M. Randolph and under the supervision of military engineer, Lieutenant A. Buhlow.  This new bridge will replace the O. K. Allen Bridge named in honor of Oscar Kelley Allen, governor of Louisiana from 1932 to 1936.  Construction of the O. K. Allen Bridge was completed in 1936.  It is one of only a few remaining examples of the classic K-truss steel bridge (see picture above).  The existing bridge has a 24-foot clear roadway width and a 500-foot clear center span with concrete and steel deck truss approach spans.  It presently carries one lane of traffic in each direction.  Once the new bridge is completed this old bridge will be demolished.  The new bridges will each have a minimum 40-foot clear roadway width and carry two lanes of traffic.  The main channel of the Red River will be bridged by a continuous steel girder unit consisting of spans of 300 feet, 400 feet and 300 feet for a total length of 1,000 feet.  The new steel spans will be built of weathering steel which does not require painting.  The approach spans will be constructed using 72 deep Bulb-T pre-stressed pre-cast concrete girders with the total length of bridge being 3,015 feet.  While the crossing of the Red River is the major feature of the project, it is by no means the whole project.  The project also has nearly 8,000 feet of four-lane divided roadway with connections to several major local streets and an interchange on the west bank connecting US 71/165 to I-49 and Third Street.  Additionally, on the east end of the project, we have a 1,220-foot long bridge crossing the Kansas City Southern Railroad.  This bridge will be constructed using AASHTO Type IV pre-stressed pre-cast concrete girders.

The coolest thing about this project is that there will be NO at-grade crossings, other than a RIRO for access to the Buhlow Lake park and to the Pineville State School, and an interchange with Third St. and the Port of Alexandria/Pineville access road will replace the very hazardous existing intersection, and it will be interwoven into the existing I-49/MacArthur Drive interchange as well. Also, the bridge itself will be a open box girder type, replacing the old cantilever, narrow two-lane, and shoulderless O. K. Allen Bridge which is near the end of its lifespan.

A sample clip of what the Fort Buhlow Bridge will look like can be found here:

http://www.gecinc.com/project_sub_details.asp?ID=83&Cat=1

Good on you, Alexandria...about time.


Anthony

« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 04:13:16 PM by Anthony_JK »
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US71

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Re: Ft. Buhlow Bridge (US 71-165) Construction Begins Soon
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 06:01:00 PM »

I was through there on Nov 22nd: trees are already being felled north of the bridge and shipped off to the logging companies.
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cjk374

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Re: Ft. Buhlow Bridge (US 71-165) Construction Begins Soon
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 11:52:41 PM »

Talk about a scary ride...I'm glad to see they are FINALLY replacing that old bridge.
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bassoon1986

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Re: Ft. Buhlow Bridge (US 71-165) Construction Begins Soon
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 03:54:56 PM »

This will finally be the last step in the LA TIMED project to get that 2 lane section to four. And I agree about the scary ride....I remember going across on a charter bus once!!
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