Modjeski and Masters was asked by the Port of New Orleans to study a potential replacement for the existing Florida Avenue Bridge. The existing Strauss trunnion bascule bridge provided only 90-feet of horizontal clearance for marine traffic.
Modjeski and Masters starts work on the selected vertical-lift bridge design. The project was made possible by funding from the Truman-Hobbs Act. The new bridge would feature a 342-foot vertical lift span which would provide a vastly increased navigational clearance for marine traffic. It would also provide a safer and more reliable movable bridge structure for the railroad and highway traffic.
Construction starts on the new Florida Avenue Bridge in 2002. Work included constructing realigned approach highway and rail tracks and constructing foundations for the new vertical-lift towers.
With work completed on the substructure units, construction of the new vertical lift superstructure commenced in 2003. The main lift span was constructed on a nearby dock and would eventually be loaded onto a barge and floated into place.
A major construction milestone occurred on April 5, 2004 when the new main span was successfully floated into place by the project contractor, American Bridge Company. Shown here is moments after the new lift span was successfully connected to the new towers.
On May 31, 2005, the new Florida Avenue Bridge project was officially completed. Not long after this, the area was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Modjeski and Masters engineers were dispatched to perform an emergency evaluation of the structure and ensure safe operation of the bridge.
Modjeski and Masters has performed numerous maintenance and repair projects since the bridge opened. Most recently, we were asked to perform strain gage balance testing on the bridge and yearly inspection services. Shown here is our inspectors documenting the mechanical operation of the bridge in the open position.