KATRINA UPDATE: Highway repairs begin

KATRINA UPDATE: Highway repairs begin

The state of Mississippi has received $5 million in emergency relief from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) as a down payment for repairs of US 90, I-10 and other federally funded roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Katrina

The state of Mississippi has received $5 million in emergency relief from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) as a down payment for repairs of US 90, I-10 and other federally funded roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

In Mississippi, US 90 from Waveland to Ocean Springs is the only state highway closed indefinitely. I-10 traffic is being re-routed over the Pascagoula River in Jackson County to conduct repairs to the damaged bridge.

Last Wednesday, a $5.1-million contract was signed to repair the I-10 bridge to normal two-lane traffic, according to DOT. Work began on Sept. 10 and should be completed in a month, DOT said.

Three Mississippi-based firms, Mallet Brothers Construction, Warren Paving and Huey Stockstill Inc., were contracted to build a temporary road to handle US 90’s two-way traffic. Work began on Sept. 9 and is will be completed within 90 days, DOT said.

Mississippi Highway Patrol continues to discourage non-emergency travel in the Gulf Coast region to reduce congestion for emergency personnel and relief supplies.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana state DOT (LDOT) is taking several emergency measures to improve Baton Rouge’s dire traffic conditions. The capital city’s roadways are severely overburdened as thousands of New Orleans-area evacuees have moved in.

Specifically, LDOT has:

  • extended “green time” on major state routes
  • removed traffic signals and restricted left-hand turns from major routes
  • allocated more tow trucks to remove disabled vehicles from I-12 at the Amite River
  • added 20 variable message board signs

    “Our infrastructure could not adequately handle the pre-Katrina congestion, and now our road system is clearly being utilized beyond its capabilities,” said LDOT Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry. “We are taking these immediate steps to give drivers some relief until we can work with local and federal officials on more long-term solutions.”

    On Sept. 9 LDOT awarded a $31-million contract to New Orleans-based Boh Bros. Construction Co. for the repair of the I-10 “Twin Span” bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. Traffic will be restored to the area within 45 days, LDOT said.

    For more information, go to Louisiana DOT’s website at www.dotd.louisiana.gov, Mississippi DOT’s website at www.dotd.state.la.us or the U.S. DOT website at www.dot.gov.

    To discuss the Katrina disaster and its effect on the trucking industry or to share your personal experiences, please visit FleetOwner's Katrina Blog at blog.fleetowner.com/katrina.

    To view the archive of FleetOwner’s ongoing Katrina news coverage, go to www.fleetowner.com/katrina.

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