28 December 2008

Christmas present turned Mardi Gras throw

Times-Picayune - New and improved I-10 is still months away

I wonder who screwed up here. The fix is most certainly not in, unlike most other situations across the lake. In this case, the asphalt wasn't started in time, so now it'll have to wait until after the winter months. Don't know why the hell they couldn't have surfaced it with concrete, but what's done is done, and we'll have to wait a few more months for the Causeway Blvd. chokepoint.

Rebuilding and redesigning the interchange between I-10 and Causeway is the next step in the process to upgrade I-10 to more modern standards and capacity. Yay.

Speaking of Causeway... bonus coverage!

Times-Picayune - Causeway storm-surge fix poses challenge for Corps of Engineers

Here, the idea is to raise the southern approaches to the Causeway to about 16 feet or so, as part of the ongoing project to strengthen the area's protection against storm surge, in this case by raising the levees. The trick is, the approaches kind of suck as it is, considering all the traffic that uses the bridge on a daily basis.

While there is room in the median to move the lanes around, and the existing approaches shouldn't have to be messed with much, it's still going to be the kind of headache that rivals most hangovers.

So far, the project is hopefully able to begin in 2010, sometime between late spring and early winter, but it's not possible to pin a clear date on it do far in advance.

Either of these projects will prove to be a nightmare for traffic for years to come. As always, I suggest going out of the way, mostly because I avoid the Causeway like the plague anyway. 24 miles over water with no shoulders... makes me nervous.

12 December 2008

Another DWI on the Causeway...

Times-Picayune - St. Tammany Parish Councilman booked with DWI on the Causeway

Yep, another politician got busted on the Causeway for driving drunk... and this time, it wasn't Drunk Eddie. Instead, we'll call this one "Drunk Marty" - Councilman Marty Gould of Parish District 5.

Seems he got loaded at the Saints game one Sunday, then decided to drive across the bridge.

Then... (Shock!) the cop pulled him over and actually did his job, writing the esteemed Councilman a ticket on the spot. Unheard of!

I guess some people can learn after all... so for once, kudos to the bridge police.

The sad thing here is how the Councilman responded to all this... his only regret? Getting caught. The classic sign of the unrepentant criminal. So, just like I'm (still) calling for Drunk Eddie to resign (or get indicted), I'm also going to call for Drunk Marty to get the hell out of public office. Never mind the fact that he seemed to be the only one harmed (did he take a header in the Dome to get that cut on his head?), he could have harmed someone else, especially on the Causeway. Personal responsibility dies a little more each time one of these idiots does something stupid like this, and the stupidity needs to end before someone gets killed.

Boredom breeds upd*tes.

First off, until I can catch my site up with my Picasa sets, I've linked all my Picasa sets directly to the blog. You'll find them on the right side.

Second, I found my pics from August 3rd's trip with Froggie, specifically my small LA 3081 and Old US 11 sets.

Third, it snowed yesterday, and i have pictures of the Snow Day as well.

Enjoy. Or don't.

10 December 2008

Not another upd*te?!

Yes, more pics, about 60 of them from a brief jaunt up to Covington. The day was dreary and wintry, so the lighting wasn't the best. Still.

LA 21: Coverage of northbound from the southern end in Madisonville, up to Covington.
LA 25: Small amount of coverage of the southern terminus in Covington.
US 190-X: Business US 190 in Covington, coverage of eastbound along concurrency with LA 21, and from the end of the concurrency east to mainline US 190.

LA 22: Expanded coverage of westbound, from West Causeway Approach out to LA 21/1077 in Madisonville.
US 190: Added coverage of eastbound and westbound along the "Bypass" section in Covington, and added one picture of westbound in Mandeville.

05 December 2008

No safety bays for Causeway

NOLA.com - Plan to use twin spans ditched

From article:

"The Causeway Commission has canceled plans to use the Interstate 10 spans that now connect Slidell and eastern New Orleans as material for safety bays along the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

The cost to move and house the spans during a lengthy construction is prohibitive, Causeway officials determined."

Ok, so there's that. While using the old Twin Spans to create so-called "safety bays" along the bridge was a noble idea, there's other reasons beside the cost that made using them just on the bare edge of impossible:

"Also, the spans are 40 years old, while cast-in-place construction would be new. The highway department has said vehicles may not travel on the spans in the future, as they were damaged during Hurricane Katrina and are being replaced as a result.

In addition, the spans are 65 feet long, while the Causeway spans are 56 feet long on the southbound bridge and 84 feet long on the northbound bridge. The different span lengths would create uneven joints on the bridge deck -- a minimal difference for low speeds, but a significant one at high speeds should the Causeway ever be widened."

TFA says it better than I could. Still, I don't see why they couldn't take part of the old Spans and turn it into a fishing pier or something, like Florida did with the older Sunshine Skyway. You know, we could actually use a fishing pier down here, considering we're a culture of sportsmen...

As for the safety bay idea, I have a better idea that would be more useful in the long term... actually, two ideas. Three lanes across, and build some shoulders along the entire length of the bridge! As in Interstate-standard shoulders!

04 December 2008

A few more photos

A trip to Slidell today spawned about 40 or so new photos.

LA 434: Coverage of northbound between I-12 and LA 36, as well as some pictures along the concurrency with US 190 in Lacombe.

I-10: Added photos from westbound approaching and of the new Exit 265 interchange with US 190 Business in Slidell.
I-12: Added coverage along westbound approaching and of Exit 74 (LA 434).
US 11: Added a couple of photos of the concurrency in Slidell with LA 433.
US 190: Added coverage eastbound through Lacombe and Slidell, as well as at the intersection with hidden LA 1089. Also, I caught a snap of an idiot parked on the train tracks at the intersection with US 11.
LA 433: Added coverage of westbound and northbound from US 11 to US 190, mostly along the Bayou Liberty Road and Thompson Road segments.
LA 1088: Added a couple of photos of westbound, north of I-12.
Former LA 1093-2: Changed directory name to reflect removal of all signage previously found in August.