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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson told KEEL News on Wednesday morning, that they will re-issue the Notice of Intent, (NOI) for the Jimmie Davis Bridge project.  The NOI is expected to be released later today.

“The decision to re-issue the notice of intent is made in the absolute best interest of our most valuable stakeholders – our traveling public who depend on this bridge and on the expectation that we’re utilizing the funding for the project appropriately,” said Dr. Shawn Wilson, DOTD Secretary. “It is necessary that we fulfill our due diligence in ensuring the proper amount of competitiveness in the design-build process.”

The need for the re-issue is because previous request for RFP's resulted in only one design-builder after multiple proposers on the short-list announced they planned to discontinue moving forward on the project.

The notice of intent will be published on the DOTD website here: http://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Engineering/Design-Build/Pages/default.aspx

What the re-issue does is basically start the process of entering into a contract with the final design-builder that is equipped to deliver both the bridge design and construction phases simultaneously so as to expedite the project development process.

The good news is that Louisiana is still on track for a new, 4 lane bridge to be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge.  The new bridge being 4 lane will provide an expanded traffic capacity across the Red River from Shreveport into South Bossier. The bad news, if it can be called that, is that the project progression will be delayed somewhat.

The plans also continue to move forward to convert the historic existing bridge into a linear park, providing green space and walking trail across the river. The DOTD states:

DOTD is committed to seeing the Jimmie Davis Bridge project successfully move through the procurement process while remaining exceptional stewards of taxpayer dollars.

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