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!

1 comment:

Anthony Kennerson said...

Actually...making the Causeway a true Interstate-grade facility by elevating the approaches at both ends and upgrading US 190 from Covington to I-12 to true Interstate standards; as well as replacing the at-grade crossovers with grade-seperated "cross-unders"..that, along with the six-lane plus shoulders idea, would be the best solution.

And using that for the other "causeways" we have (as in the I-10 Atchafalaya "Swamp Freeway" and the I-10 Bonnet Carre Spillway between I-55 and I-310 wouldn't exactly suck, either.