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Five Miles In Forty Five Days Rebuilding The I 10 Twin Spans

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Hurricane Katrina

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.645.1 - 11.645.12



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Paper Authors

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John Ryan SE/ES, LLC

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Glenn Schexnayder Boh Bros. Construction

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Ed Scheuermann Boh Bros. Construction

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

5 miles in 45 Days – Rebuilding the I-10 Twin Spans


The five-mile bridge elevating Interstate 10 above Lake Pontchartrain between Slidell, Louisiana and New Orleans East has become an essential daily link for thousands of commuters since the late 1970’s. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced a storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain causing the water level in the lake to rise 15 to 20 feet above normal. The impact on the twin spans was devastating, causing damage to nearly 40% of the pre-cast decks on both east-bound and west-bound spans, rendering the bridge impassable. Re-establishing this link to the city was critical to commerce in the city of New Orleans. Boh Brothers Construction Co., locally founded contractor with its main office in the Central Business District of New Orleans, won the job for repairing the bridge. Boh’s bid included a fast-tracked 45-day schedule for completion of Phase-I of the project, which included repairing the east-bound span and opening it to two-way traffic. A combination of innovation, intimate knowledge of local conditions, and efficiency resulted in the completion of the project ahead of schedule despite extreme challenges such as an uninhabitable main office and job site evacuation for Hurricane Rita. This paper discusses the process of resurrecting five miles of drowned causeway and highlights some of the innovative means employed to complete the project in less than 29 days.


On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina began to make landfall on the eastern Louisiana coastline with a north-easterly track. The eye of the storm passed just to the east of New Orleans, LA later that day creating a storm surge that caused massive damage to the five- mile long Interstate 10 bridge between Slidell, Louisiana and New Orleans East. The State of Louisiana requested bids for a three-phase emergency bridge repair project, which was won by Boh Bros. Construction Co. This paper reviews Phase I of the project, including bidding and construction challenges, in the context of a non-functioning infrastructure resulting from Hurricane Katrina. Construction challenges are broken into two types: 1) challenges that would not commonly be expected in a populated area of an industrialized country and 2) challenges that occur as a result of a fast-tracked marine construction project with an extraordinarily short amount of time allowed for planning and preparation. Specific innovations and strategies used to meet these challenges are highlighted in detail.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was a category five hurricane, which reached its maximum recorded strength as its pressure lowered to 902 mb (3rd lowest recorded pressure of any Atlantic storm) and its sustained wind speed increased to 170 mph on Sunday morning, August 28. Less than 12 hours later, the storm would begin its landfall and prove to be the most devastating natural disaster in US history. By this time the gulf coast was being pounded

Ryan, J., & Schexnayder, G., & Scheuermann, E. (2006, June), Five Miles In Forty Five Days Rebuilding The I 10 Twin Spans Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1446

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