Point Coupee and West Feliciana Parishes, Louisiana
A majestic new cable-stayed bridge spanning the Mississippi River represents a triumph in engineering and fills a major gap in Louisiana’s transportation network. As the first design-build project undertaken by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD), the bridge also represents a major achievement in project management and coordination.
The 12,883-foot-long John James Audubon Bridge over the Mississippi River is the sole river crossing between Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi. When opened to traffic, it was the longest cable-stayed span in the Western Hemisphere, with a 1,583-foot-long main span and two 500-foot-high H-shaped towers on drilled-shaft foundations.
The entire project encompassed 12.5 miles and included the construction of new two-lane and four-lane highways, seven AASHTO girder bridges on driven-pile foundations, 12 miles of connecting roadway and four new intersections. The project connects Louisiana Highway 10, an east-west route also known as the Zachary Taylor Parkway.
Michael Baker provided program management and construction management services for the design-build delivery of the bridge. In this role, we served as the owner’s representative, overseeing contractor performance and providing quality assurance services.
The magnitude of this project demanded the use of innovative construction techniques. Access to construct the main span bridge foundation, footing, deck and towers was a primary concern. To address the issue, the team erected a long, land-based trestle bridge to supply materials and equipment to the work areas.
Each cable stay consists of 20 to 69 individual galvanized, post-tensioned cables anchored to the bridge towers. Crews installed more than 1,000 miles of cable and erected one cable stay approximately every seven days. To minimize long-term maintenance costs, weathering steel comprised all spans.
“The landmark John James Audubon Bridge, which serves as a critically important regional transportation link, embodies the project team's ingenuity, collaborative approach and dedication to delivering a structure that will meet regional transportation needs far into the future.”
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