Posted: Dec 13, 2013 9:17 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2013 9:17 AM
METAIRIE - The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway will pay the Texas A&M Transportation Institute up to $100,000 to come up with options to improve the bridge's retaining walls and prevent vehicles from vaulting off the span.
The bridge commission voted unanimously Thursday to authorize General Manager Carlton Dufrechou to negotiate a contract with the institute.
Under the contract, Dufrechou said the institute will come up with designs to improve the concrete retaining walls and perform tests to determine if their designs can withstand the impact of a vehicle. Officials from the institute have already visited the bridge, where 10 vehicles have gone over the walls on the southbound span in the past 20 years, including three this year.