Boh Bros. Construction, New Orleans, resumed work on Nov. 3 after a four-day suspension of construction on the $803-million Interstate 10 Twin Spans bridge outside of New Orleans, following an accident that put 10 people in the water. One worker was killed.

Investigators study why a girder rolled, taking 10 into the water, killing one.
Angelle Bergeron / ENR
Investigators study why a girder rolled, taking 10 into the water, killing one.

The accident happened when a 135-ft-long concrete girder beam apparently rotated off its support caps and fell 30 ft into Lake Pontchartrain, says Robert Boh, president. The workers who fell were tied off to the beam and were setting an overhang form for the bridge deck.

Eric T. Blackmon, 44, crew foreman and an 11-year Boh employee, was killed. Three men have minor injuries, says Ann Barks, Boh spokeswoman, adding that all were wearing harnesses and life vests.

Boh Bros. holds a $379-million contract for the 4.5-mile low-rise sections. A joint venture of Traylor Bros. Inc., Evansville, Ind.; Kiewit Southern Co., Peachtree City, Ga., and Massman Construction Co., Kansas City, is building the $166.6-million hump portions of the twin bridges. The westbound span is scheduled to open by next Oct. 22 and the eastbound span by Aug. 3, 2011.

Boh is working out from both shores. The accident occurred 2.6 miles from the south shore, on the New Orleans side, Barks says. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident.

Neither the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development nor Boh would say whether the girder was temporarily placed for form hanging or permanently installed. “I am not going to comment on details of the accident or any specific activities that were occurring... while the investigation is under way,” says Mark Lambert, department spokesman. “They were given the green light to go back to work for all field operations except for the form-overhang process.”

Barks says work will not resume on the outside girder area where the accident happened “until the investigation is over and we can be certain it doesn’t happen again.”