Eustis Engineering L.L.C. began drilling the first of 20 soil borings 1 March for a project that will add 12 safety bays to the 24-mile long Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

Lake Pontchartrain drilling

One of Eustis Engineering’s drill rigs has been loaded onto a lift boat in Lake Pontchartrain and prepares to mobilize into position adjacent to the bridge.

Six bays will be added to the northbound bridge, and six bays will be added to the southbound bridge. These 16-ft wide, 1,008 ft long shoulder sections will be located midway between existing crossovers for emergency parking. The bays aim to aid motorists with vehicle trouble, moving them off the spans and away from traffic.

Eustis Engineering is providing drill crews working from a lift boat around the clock to meet the demands of the project schedule. Ben Cody, P.E., is Eustis Engineering’s Project Manager, with Patrick Thurmond, E.I., and Clay Worley, E.I., serving as the Assistant Engineers. Back at our laboratory, soil samples obtained from the borings will be subjected to an array of tests.

The Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, the controlling body of the Causeway, has contracted with Volkert, Inc., as the structural engineer on the project.  The bays will be built using concrete pilings driven from a barge and topped with concrete spans.

Eustis Engineering performed geotechnical services in Lake Pontchartrain when the southbound and northbound Causeway bridges were originally constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.