Monday, June 17, 2024

Top Stories: Infrastructure

by BIZ Magazine

DOTD announces major project to repair I-20 in Bossier City, sections of Shreveport

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development began a major repair project to sections of I-20 in Bossier City, as well as additional repairs along the I-20 corridor in Shreveport.

The Department accepted bids on Wednesday, May 10, with the contracted officially awarded to JB James Construction, LLC. at a cost of of $117,656,250.15. Work began Sept. 17.

The long-awaited project includes a full reconstruction of all lanes of I-20 from just west of LA 3 (Benton Road) near Hamilton Road to LA 782-2 (Industrial Drive). The pavement will be removed down to the roadway sub-base and replaced along this 3.5 mile section of interstate, which services between 62,000 – 86,000 vehicles per day.

This reconstruction will be performed in phases, and also includes all on and off-ramps of the five interchanges between Benton Road and Industrial Drive in Bossier City.

“This is a significant project, not just for Shreveport-Bossier, but for the northwest region as a whole,” said DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda. “A critical investment like this in our interstate system translates to our continued ability to move goods and services efficiently, as well as to provide the travel experience residents and visitors expect.”

Additionally, concrete patching repairs will be conducted on I-20 stretching from Pines Road in Shreveport to I-220 in Bossier City, which is outside of the complete reconstruction area. This work will address other sections of the busy interstate corridor that serves both residents and the thousands of motorists passing through the region on a daily basis.

An innovative queue detection system will be implemented for this project, which will provide real-time advanced warning to motorists that they are approaching construction area congestion and should be prepared to slow down or choose to detour. This type of system is effective in improving safety during construction projects – particularly on an interstate – and for helping to mitigate traffic congestion approaching the work zone.

This project also includes the replacement of the roadway lighting system components along the stretch of I-20 that is being reconstructed in Bossier City.

Louisiana DOTD says Jimmie Davis Bridge project still moving ahead

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provided an update June 13 on the funding for the Jimmie Davis Bridge (LA 511) replacement project in Caddo and Bossier Parishes.

“Despite changes to House Bill 2 in the 2023 Regular Legislative Session, which removed a portion of the state general obligation bond funding anticipated for the Jimmie Davis Bridge, the project is still moving forward as planned,” said the release.

Following the end of the 2023 legislative session June 8, approximately $140 million designated toward building a new Jimmie Davis Bridge connecting Shreveport and Bossier was removed from House Bill 2.

“The funding that was removed is not needed immediately, but will be needed in the last few years of this design-build project, which is expected to take nearly five years to complete,” the release added.

The change to HB 2 will not affect the current timeline or progress of work, as the $100 million allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is secured, as well as an additional $108 million in federal bridge dollars and $18 million in state bonds.

DOTD intends to submit a capital outlay request to restore the funding that was removed. The request will be included in the budget for approval in the 2024 Regular Legislative Session.

A new four-lane bridge will be constructed, and the existing structure will be rehabilitated into a linear park connecting the existing bicycle and pedestrian trails on each side of the Red River.

Port of Caddo-Bossier waterline opportunity for new tenants, jobs

The Port of Caddo-Bossier began the process for a new $35 million waterline that will bring millions of gallons of water from Bossier City to The Port.

The waterline will connect to The Port’s newly acquired acreage on the west side of Highway 1. The waterline is one of the first improvements needed to attract larger manufacturing facilities that can create hundreds of new jobs for the area.

The Port of Caddo-Bossier. (Courtesy photo)

“The Port Commission and our economic development partners The Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, BRF and North Louisiana Economic Partnership agree that we need to have shovel-ready greenfield sites to attract new businesses to the area,” said Walt Bigby Jr., president of the Port Commission. “The Port is working on a rail spur for those sites. We also plan on adding electric substations, natural gas lines and transload facilities, so these sites are ready for construction.”

The Bossier City Council approved the waterline in early April. Once in use, the waterline will bring in additional money for Bossier City. 

If the city sells 3 million gallons of water per day to a new Port tenant, the city would make more than $1.7 million. The amount of the profit would increase as the amount of water sold increases.

“As a city council, we have the responsibility to provide services to our citizens, while saving them as much money as possible,” said Bossier City Councilman David Montgomery. “This agreement will increase revenues, so we can take care of our city’s needs without asking our residents for more money.”

Bossier City upgraded its Red River Water Treatment Plant to handle 50 million gallons of water a day. Currently, the city is not using the plant at its full capacity. Even if the city’s population doubled, the plant would still provide enough water to handle The Port’s expansion.

“This is a win for Bossier City and Northwest Louisiana,” said Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler. “Bossier City will be able to count on additional revenue. At the same time, this waterline will give The Port a better shot at landing a company that can create a significant number of jobs, possibly bringing new residents to Bossier City.”

The underground pipeline will connect to a waterline that currently ends at Parkway High School. It will extend to the Red River. A tunnel will be bored 100 feet under the river that will connect the waterline to The Port. 

New major corridor in Bossier City continues progress

Bossier City’s newest north-south corridor continues to hit milestones as construction progresses on the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway, one of the largest new pieces of city-maintained infrastructure.

Currently, the contractor is working on driving bridge piling and preparing for girder installation for the railroad overpass portion of the overall $60 million project. This is crucial in ensuring the continuous flow of traffic without being impeded by railroad activity when the project is finished.

Phase I of the project is already complete, which included a new roundabout on US 80 (E. Texas Street) at Old Benton Road.

Phase II also involves the construction of two more roundabouts, one located at Hamilton Road and Water Plant Road, and the other at the intersection of Shed Road and the new 4-lane roadway extension.

Pavement work as part of Phase II continues along Hamilton Road and adjacent to Benton Road as the new roadway takes shape, ultimately tying in to Benton Road just north of Riverwood Drive.

Port of Caddo-Bossier breaks ground on new heavy-load warehouse

The Port of Caddo-Bossier broke ground on a new heavy-load, multi-modal warehouse Sept. 13. The Red River Waterway Commission and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development are helping to fund the construction of the 40,000 square foot building, which is located at The Port, along Doug Attaway Boulevard.

The warehouse sits behind the Port’s newly constructed 100,000 square foot warehouse, which opened in June 2022. The new warehouse will add to the 310,000 square feet currently leased by Odyssey Logistics, LLC at the Port of Caddo-Bossier, where it stores products for other Port tenants.

“Building a second warehouse just a year after we opened our 100,000 square foot warehouse shows the need our tenants have for storage,” said Walter Bigby Jr., President of the Caddo-Bossier Parishes Port Commission. “By constructing this new warehouse, The Port has positioned itself to maintain long-term relationships with its current tenants and grow more interest in our facilities.”

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