DOTD set to demolish Beaver Creek (La. 10) Bridge
DOTD set to demolish and rebuild Beaver Creek (La. 10) Bridge in St. Helena Parish
ST. HELENA PARISH, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is set to demolish the Beaver Creek (La. 10) Bridge, which suffered irreparable damage during the catastrophic August 2016 floods, making the main corridor in St. Helena Parish impassable.
The most significant damage was to the pile embedment, which serves to transfer loads to the subsurface of the bridge. Because of this damage, the bridge is unsafe to drive on and could fail under load or with hydraulic pressure, e.g., rain events causing water flow to ‘push’ against the bridge. The structure has been deemed unsound and will require a replacement as it is not feasible to simply repair the bridge.
“The damages that Louisiana’s infrastructure sustained due to the unprecedented floods of 2016 have been a top priority of the Department. The decision to entirely replace the bridge as opposed to spending the same money to have a rehabilitated bridge that will be posted (meaning weight-limited) is the best for this community,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson Ph.D. “Further, federal emergency funds are only available for one repair. It would not be prudent to use that money on a temporary bridge and still have to locate state or other funds for a permanent fix. With this solution, we are able to begin the necessary repairs to this important thoroughfare by separating the demolition from construction to save time. I appreciate the collaboration with local and state officials to give the citizens and businesses a new and improved La. 10 Bridge.”
By mid-January 2017, contractor River/Road Construction, Inc. will begin removal of the existing structure along with its approach slabs and guard rails. The work cost approximately $189,000 and is estimated for completion by early spring 2017.
“I'm very excited for the start of the demolition process of the La. 10 Bridge,” said Senator Rick Ward III. This is an important step to having a new structure in place and helping the citizens of St. Helena and the industries that travel this important corridor return to their normal routine.”
Soon after demolition, a replacement project will follow. That project was recently let at an estimated $2 million and will construct a new bridge in place of the old one. Coastal Bridge Co., LLC was the apparent low bidder following Dec. 22 letting results, and the contract is still being finalized.
“We have all worked very hard to get to this point and I am very pleased to see this very critical project moving forward,” said Representative Robbie Carter. “As an elected official, it was important to assist in delivering this project as La. 10 is the main corridor servicing our area. I look forward to getting the La. 10 Bridge back online, so that residents in this district can return to normal. I pushed very hard for a temporary bridge, but was told that the funds were not available. In addition, a temporary bridge would have been load posted, which would have prevented trucks and school buses from crossing the bridge, which would defeat the main purpose of a temporary bridge. Hopefully in the 2017 legislative session we can solve some of the state's budget problems.”
All construction activity is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. DOTD appreciates the motoring public’s patience and reminds drivers to please exercise caution when traveling through work zone areas and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment. Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking or biking near the active work zone.
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.