A new infrastructure project is underway in Louisiana, the Belle Chase Bridge and Tunnel Replacement. This Public-Private Partnership project is being spearheaded by a joint venture of Traylor Bros., Inc. and Massman Construction Co.
The Belle Chase Tunnel was built in 1955, while the Perez Bridge was constructed in 1967. The new structure will have two lanes of traffic in each direction with a 73-foot vertical and 150-wide horizontal clearance and the old structures will be removed once the new one is operational.
Utilizing 58 pairs of Nucor Skyline NZ 26 sheet piles at 65 feet, the cofferdam for the bridge piers was driven into the Gulf Intercostal Waterway using an ICE 416 vibratory hammer and barge mounted Terex HC275. The sheet piles were driven around the waler frame to a depth of 59 feet. The cofferdam was then excavated and the pile operation for the footings began.
A Manitowoc 7000 ringer crane, IHC S-150 Hydrohammer and custom-built templates allowed the Nucor Skyline 48” OD x 150 foot spiralweld pipe piles to be driven to a tip elevation of -172ft. Air compressors were utilized with the hydrohammer to allow for underwater driving.