Mississippi’s U.S. 90 remains impassable from Bay St. Louis to Ocean Springs. Some 30% of the 35 miles between the U.S. 90 bridge at Biloxi and Ocean Springs and the Bay St. Louis Bridge was irrevocably damaged, says Greg Grondin, Mississippi Dept. of Transportation area engineer. MDOT hired Huey Stockstill Contractors, Picayune, Miss.; Warren Paving, Inc., Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Mallette Brothers Construction, Gautier, Miss., on a force account basis to repair the damaged stretch. MDOT will pay each firm $10 million for work over the next four to six months and expects reimbursement from the Federal Highway Administration, says Grondin.

Washed Out. Bridges along Mississippi’s U.S. 90 are impassable.

Last week, a construction management team led by San Francisco-based URS Corp. won a $300-million design-build contract to replace both bridges, says Ricky Lee, MDOT district engineer. The Bay St. Louis Bridge, built in 1953, has a 17-ft vertical clearance. The Biloxi bridge, built in 1961, reaches 47 ft at its highest point; spans beneath 23 ft were knocked out. Both are of reinforced concrete with lift sections. The new bridges will be at least 30 ft high. The Biloxi bridge, now 1.6 miles long and four lanes, will be extended 300 yd and widened to six lanes.

Repairs fixed rails that fell off trestle like a slinky.

A 2,229-ft bridge at Henderson Point over CSX railroad tracks also needs a span replaced. MDOT has not yet hired a contractor and is in no hurry, as the bridge lies between two impassable road sections, Grondin says. CSX spokeswoman Misty Bell says five major bridges along an 85-mile stretch from New Orleans to Pascagoula are impassable.

T.L. Wallace Construction Inc., Columbia, Miss., holds emergency repair contracts for the Interstate 10 bridge over the Pascagoula River and the I-110 bridge over Biloxi Back Bay. The firm began work Sept. 10 on the I-10 bridge and has 31 days to complete the $5.1-million contract, with a $100,000-per-day incentive/disincentive clause, says Kelley Castleberry, MDOT resident engineer. "Everything on the six damaged spans has to be totally removed," he says.

Repair bids progressed in New Orleans as well. The Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development on Sept. 9 awarded a $30.9-million fast-track contract to local low bidder Boh Bros. Construction Co. to repair the I-10 twin span bridge over Lake Pontchartrain and open it to traffic within 45 days. Round-the-clock work began last week.

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    Boh Brothers will take precast concrete road segments from the more-damaged span and install them on the less-damaged span to complete two lanes of traffic (ENR 9/12 p. 20). The rest of the more-damaged span will be repaired using temporary panels. Boh Bros. will perform daily maintenance for up to three years on the temporary bridge span.

    Norfolk Southern Corp. has completed repairs to its Lake Pontchartrain bridge, a concrete trestle, says Susan Turpay, a railroad spokeswoman. Nearly five miles of track had washed out from the top of the 5.8-mile-long rail bridge into the lake. "Ballast ties and rail rotated off the bridge like a slinky," says Bill Scott, vice president with emergency contractor Scott Bridge Co., Opelika, Ala. The firm used eight cranes on barges to lift track back onto the bridge and replace lost ties. Another nine miles of track in New Orleans were also replaced.

    (Photo right by Michael Goodman for ENR, left by Michael Powers for ENR)

    epair efforts for Mississippi and Louisiana infrastructure are crystallizing, particularly for Hurricane Katrina-devastated U.S. 90. Work on the worst-hit bridges in both states was under way or, in some cases, even completed by Sept. 12.