Under a retainer contract with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, conducted a Stage 0 Feasibility Study for the Florida Avenue Corridor including a new bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (IHNC) and the upgrade and extension of Florida Avenue from Elysian Fields Avenue (LA 3021) to Paris Road (LA 47). In addition, north-south connections were evaluated to extend from Florida Avenue to St. Claude Avenue (LA 46). The purpose of this study was as follows:
- Re-evaluate the proposed action presented in the 2007 Final Environmental Assessment (EA) – New Florida Bridge over the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal and analyze additional alternatives to identify cost savings
- Present a reliable Florida Avenue connection from Elysian Fields Avenue to Paris Road and provide access to I-10 and I-610 from St. Bernard Parish
- Identify a north-south route that provided the optimum intermodal connection to the Port of St. Bernard
- Completion of the proposed bridge addresses three primary needs:
- State TIMED Legislation Mandate
- Reliable vehicular crossing
- System linkage
Buchart Horn evaluated existing data (marine traffic, bridge tender reports, etc.); previous studies and reports; traffic modeling of the overall corridor; master plan documents for industrial facilities within the project area; and coordination with the project team, local officials, stakeholders, and other agencies. Buchart Horn prepared a marine traffic study in order to evaluate the clearance requirements for the IHNC crossing.
The alternatives were then developed considering the findings from the marine study, rail/road/levee/water clearance requirements, environmental constraints, utility and rail considerations, right-of-way constraints, transportation impacts, safety, costs, and agency and stakeholder input. The alternatives were developed with construction phasing in mind in order to satisfy the mandate and make associated improvements as funding allows.