Friday, April 16, 2021

Belle Chase Bridge & Tunnel for Gulf Inttracoastal Waterway in Plaquemines Parish, LA

(Bridge Hunter-tunnel; Bridge Hunter-road lift; Bridge Hunter-rail liftSatellite)

The NOGC(New Orleans & Gulf Coast RR)/MoPac railroad lift bridge is abandoned.

The official name for the LA-23 bridge is Judge Perez Lift Span Bridge.

These notes discuss a lift bridge and a tunnel that are going to be replaced by a $162m fixed bridge. People are claiming that $839m would be paid in tolls over a 30-year period. Local tolls are 25 cents whereas "outside" tolls are 90 cents. Work should begin in May 2021 and finish in April 2024. [TheAdvocate] Why would they not retire the tolls after the $162m+interest cost is recovered?

C Hanchey Flickr via Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

Belle Chasse Bridges (Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana)

Highway and railroad vertical lift bridges over Algiers Canal (or Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Alternate Route) in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The highway bridge carries northbound LA 23 and the rail bridge carries the New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railway (NOGC).

C Hanchey Flickr via Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

Judge Perez Bridge (Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana)

Judge Perez Bridge over Algiers Canal (or Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Alternate Route) in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The drawbridge (vertical lift bridge) was opened in 1968 to provide additional capacity to the 1956 Belle Chasse Tunnel. It is also known as the Belle Chasse Bridge.

I picked the egress side of the tunnel because the lighting was better and both ends look the same. Since 1968, the tunnel now handles the southbound traffic while the bridge handles the northbound traffic. So the traffic lights have been useless since 1968?
Street View

Both ends include a massive flood gate.
Street View

Massman Construction

It is being built with 12' lanes but just 4' shoulders. It will also have a 5' pedestrian path.
Massman Construction

Plenary Group is the owner/operator of the bridge. The navigation channel will be 150' wide with a clearance of 73'. The approaches will use pre-stressed concrete girders, but a "3-span continuous steel unit" will be used over the navigation channel.

Yet another web site that feels compelled to add the adjectives "aesthetically pleasing." Those adjectives don't mitigate the fact that it is yet another Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge (UCEB). One web site talked about public input. Basically, they let the public pick the colors.

I do wish web sites would include a date. This web site estimates the cost of $148m of which $52.84m is toll revenue bonds and the rest is four different pots of federal money. I don't see any LDOT funding. I still don't understand the $839m complaint if the bonds are only $52.84m.

At one time the estimate was just $122m. [LDOT]

Massman Construction posted
This week, the
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD)
virtually broke ground on the Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement Project. The project will replace the existing bridge and tunnel with a fixed-span, 4-lane bridge. The new structure will improve the connectivity on the LA23 corridor and allow for safer and more reliable access for the residents, businesses, and industries in Plaquemines Parish. The project is LADOTD's first Public-Private Partnership (P3) and will pave the way for this delivery method to be utilized on other state projects. As part of the construction joint venture building this pioneering project, Massman looks forward to helping deliver the much needed improvements.
Watch the virtual groundbreaking here:

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