The west span of the I-10 Twin Spans Bridge in New Orleans, LA, will reopen Friday nine days ahead of schedule, restoring four-lane traffic to the vital east-west corridor devastated by Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta announced.
Repairs were accelerated thanks to a flexible contract with incentives that rewarded early completion and discouraged missing project deadlines, said Mineta. The Secretary noted that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assisted Louisiana to streamline the contracting process for the Twin Spans reconstruction, allowing work to begin as soon as possible after Katrina.
“We cut red tape and provided the flexibility needed to get the Twin Spans reopened ahead of schedule so people could get to work, shipments could make it to stores and hope could return to the hearts of Gulf Coast residents,” said Mineta. “Restoring roads, bridges and transit systems is the best way to get the region back up and running again.”
Last year, Mineta provided $25 million from FHWA’s emergency relief program as a down payment to Louisiana for repairing I-10 and other federally-supported highways and bridges damaged by Katrina. Congress recently approved the Bush Administration’s request for additional emergency relief funds for Gulf Coast rebuilding, providing $2.75 billion for road repair in states that suffered during the 2005 hurricane season.