Normally it would take at least four years to rebuild a bridge like the Bay of St. Louis Bridge which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It takes at least a year to design and then three years to rebuild. To the people of the Gulf Coast having that key link out for so long was unacceptable. Instead the State of Mississippi and Federal Highway Administration embarked on the largest, fastest and first design-build bridge project in the state.
The original bridge was beyond repair so a new site was selected and this past week the first two lanes were opened to the public. The project required installing 1,160 new concrete piles, hundreds of concrete girders and over 500,000 sf of concrete bridge deck. All four lanes of the bridge will be completed in November, just over 2 years after Katrina’s devastating impact.
Bay St. Louis is a wonderful artist town and having this bridge back in operation is a big help on their road to recovery.