Acrow Bridge, a leading international bridge engineering and supply company, has provided Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana with two modular steel bridges to replace critically deficient structures in Houma and Gibson. In each case, the timber piles of the old bridges were failing and could no longer handle even typical vehicular traffic.
Acrow's prefabricated panel bridges provided a simple design, reduced installation time and overall project cost benefits, while meeting and exceeding the load and design requirements.
As a result of growing concerns about structurally deficient bridges, Louisiana has become more exacting with its safety standards and structural requirements for both state- and parish-owned bridges. At inspection by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD), critical deficiencies in both the Buquet Street bridge in Houma and the North Bayou Black Drive bridge in Gibson were found, and it was determined that repair was not possible. Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government (TPCG) issued a Certification of Public Emergency requiring immediate action to replace both bridges, and Acrow 700XS truss panel bridges were selected.
One of the key benefits to using Acrow's structures was the ability of the bridges to completely span the waterways, which is extremely important in the low lying areas of Louisiana where waterways are prone to flooding and debris is often caught in the multiple pier piles of the old design. The Acrow design eliminated these piers, allowing flowing water to carry debris under the single span, eliminating the need for frequent clearing of debris.
The Buquet Street bridge serves as a vital east-west connection across Bayou Terrebonne. Built in 1968 with a five-span concrete deck bridge on timber piles, it was replaced with a 90' long Acrow bridge with a 24' wide roadway, an integrated guide rail system with a TL-2 load rating, and a 5' wide cantilevered walkway. The North Bayou Black Drive bridge is located in the more rural community of Gibson, but is critical to residents needing to cross the Donner Canal to access homes and businesses. The old bridge was built in 1962 and had a concrete deck on timber piles; it was replaced with a 70' long by 24' Acrow panel bridge with a TL-2 guide rail. Both bridges included Acrow orthotropic deck system with an extremely durable and long-lasting epoxy aggregate non-skid surface.
Once the bridges were approved and purchased, TPCG bid out the work to install the bridges. Gray Contracting won the bid to install the Buquet Street bridge and SeaLevel Construction installed the North Bayou Black Drive bridge. The design engineer for both bridges was Providence/Gulf South Engineers Associates, LLC.
"The Acrow bridges provided a simple design, quick installation, a long life expectancy while meeting and exceeding the Louisiana DOTD's load and design requirements," said Perry Blanchard, Terrebonne Parishes Public Works Operations Manager. "Acrow met all of our requirements, and the Acrow Bridge staff was always very helpful with answering our questions from the first call to project completion."
"It is extremely gratifying to provide such quality and successful bridging solutions to aging infrastructure," said Will Smith, Southeast Regional Manager at Acrow Bridge. Added Bill Killeen, President and CEO of Acrow Bridge, "Our prefabricated modular steel bridges are a perfect choice when a cost-effective and rapid permanent bridging solution is needed. Our customizable components can be engineered for many different applications, have an estimated life span of 75-100 years and are virtually maintenance-free."