John J. Audubon Bridge
Natchez, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Client: Louisiana Department of Transportation (LaDOTD)
Parsons Brinckerhoff Role: Program Management
Parsons Brinckerhoff, as part of the Louisiana TIMED Managers in joint venture, led the program management of the John J. Audubon Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America. The bridge crosses the Mississippi River between Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes in south central Louisiana and replaced an existing ferry between the communities of New Roads and St. Francisville. The bridge is the only structure on the Mississippi between Natchez, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a distance of 90 miles (145 kilometers).
The 14.6-mile (23.5-kilometer) project has high and low approach spans, low-level bridges both east and west, and approximately 12 miles (19 kilometers) of connecting roadway, including seven smaller bridges.
The bridge opened to limited traffic in May 2011 after Mississippi River flooding forced the closure of the existing ferry service. The bridge was completed and formally opened by the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LaDOTD) in January 2012. The $408 million project, part of LaDOTD’s Transportation Model for Economic Development (TIMED) program, was the first LaDOTD project to be completed under the design-build method of project delivery. Design-build delivery was estimated to have saved nine months on the project, which was completed ahead of schedule.
Project benefits include commercial and residential growth, increased mobility and access, and intrastate connectivity. Informational displays are located at public venues and businesses in both St. Francisville and New Roads, and a public outreach office was established for active community involvement.
The Audubon Bridge was named the Editor’s Choice in ENR’s Best of the Best 2012 competition.