NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined City Councilmembers and officials from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) to celebrate the completion of the $19.5 million Wisner Bridge Reconstruction Project. Wisner Bridge is now open to vehicular traffic.
“Through partnership, we have completed the $19.5 million Wisner Bridge Reconstruction Project. We worked to ensure the bridge fits the community’s needs by accommodating pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “The completion of Wisner Bridge is an important step to making New Orleans whole again. Fixing the City’s aging infrastructure is not only necessary to get around, but important to the future economic viability of New Orleans.”
In 2015, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, City of New Orleans, Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) began reconstruction of the bridge, which runs parallel to Bayou St. John and connects Wisner Boulevard over Interstate 610.
The new steel girder bridge is 1,800 ft.long, 65 ft. wide and was placed in the same location as the previous bridge. The new bridge includes two 12-ft. travel lanes in each direction and one 12-ft. pedestrian and bicycle path. The pedestrian and bicycle path will open in Spring 2018 and will provide safe passage for bicyclists and pedestrians to reach both the Lafitte Greenway and Lake Pontchartrain.
Councilmember-at-Large Jason Williams said, “The Wisner Bridge is a vital artery of transportation for drivers and cyclists, and I am so excited to see it in its updated and complete form. As the City makes road improvements like this one, we move further towards our goals of smart transportation pathways and quality infrastructure for our residents.”
District A Councilmember Susan G. Guidry said, "I am thrilled that the bridge is finally scheduled to open this week. The new and improved infrastructure, which now safely accommodates pedestrians and cyclists, is a crucial thoroughfare that connects residents on both sides of Interstate 610. It will allow easy access to all of the amenities of City Park and views of Bayou St. John and the natural beauty within the city.”
District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, "The new, $19.5 million Wisner Blvd. Bridge, which runs parallel to Bayou St. John and connects Wisner Blvd. over Interstate 610, is a welcomed addition to the community. It includes two 12-ft. travel lanes in each direction and a 12-ft. pedestrian and bicycle path along Bayou St. John. The completion of this project promotes a balanced transportation system that includes strategic enhancements for all roadway users."
DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn D. Wilson said, "Today is about delivering safer infrastructure for our communities. We can get great things done when we work together to finance and deliver the projects that our citizens need and deserve."
Construction was delayed earlier in 2017. During construction LaDOTD determined that the finger joints, which connect sections of the bridge deck together, did not fit properly. As a result, the designer revised the joint design to ensure public safety for the design life of the bridge.
Desaix Area Neighborhood Association Board Member Wayne Benjamin said, “De Saix neighbors are very happy that this project has reached completion. It will be an asset to our already wonderful neighborhood, and we appreciate all of the work put in by everyone involved.”
This project was managed by DOTD and the City as part of the off-system bridge program. It was funded through a cost share agreement with majority funding from the FHWA and administered by the LaDOTD on behalf of the City. The City and RPC contributed to the construction cost of the project. The construction contractor was Boh Bros. Construction, LLC, and the designer was Rahman & Associates.