The Huey P. Long Bridge Widening was a four-phase project vital to the recovery of Greater New Orleans. The widening added an additional travel lane, as well as inside and outside shoulders to each side of the bridge, providing a safer and more reliable crossing over the Mississippi River.
As part of a joint venture, Traylor Bros., Inc. employed an innovative span-by-span erection method to build this project. By utilizing temporary stabilizing frames that span between the bottom chords of the proposed widening trusses, and stabilizing towers to brace the compression chord of the truss while lifting, the joint venture eliminated the need for falsework in the river, with only one exception: the West Bank anchor span, which was constructed with a modified stick build method.
The stabilizing frames and trusses were erected on barges and floated into place directly underneath the bridge. The whole system of trusses and stabilizing frames was lifted at the four corners by strand jacks supported on top of the widened pier trusses of the bridge. Therefore, despite the contract anticipating the team delaying bridge and marine traffic, we devised a scheme that allowed preassembly of the bridge, minimally impacting the public. This was a huge win for both the team and the local economy.