Looks Like the I-20 Reconstruction Project in Bossier Hit a Wall
I-20 is all the news this morning, especially after a joint of the bridge at mile marker 6 in the Greenwood area, broke earlier this morning, causing the road to buckle and giving scores of vehicles blowouts after striking the buckle on the east bound side of the interstate.
Sources tell us that the DOTD needs special equipment to lift the bridge to do repairs, but it could be a while before it can get here as it's on its way from Baton Rouge.
Meanwhile, the west bound side of I-20 in the Bossier City area caused major congestion as well, as the left lane was closed for construction. We assume this was to accommodate the new overpass headed into Barksdale Air Force Base.
While We're On the Subject of I-20 in Bossier City
Speaking of the stretch of I-20 in the Bossier City area, saying that it needs repairs is like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer had some dietary issues.
Driving I-20, especially in the Bossier City area, is much akin to strapping yourself onto a two thousand pound bull while someone opens the chute.
I can only imagine the magnitude of tires, wheels, front end alignments and potential accidents this horrific stretch of potholes has caused.
Most of us were so excited to learn that the area would soon undergo a much needed, but expensive, reconstruction project, that would extend all the way from Benton Road to Industrial Drive in Bossier City.
However, our joy is short-lived as we've just learned that the project has been delayed until a "timeline that has not yet been determined."
"A timeline that has not yet been determined"? Isn't that about the same as when your Dad would tell you "Maybe"?
According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the project will be re-bid following a review of the recent bids on the project.
The project initially went to bid on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, with an estimated cost of $56 million. It included completely reconstructing all lanes of I-20 from Benton Road to Industrial Drive, as well as providing concrete patching on additional sections of the corridor.
However, both bids received for the project were significantly higher than the final estimate, prompting the initiation of the bid review process. The bids received were as follows:
- $82,564,848.20 (JB James Construction LLC)
- $124,179,561.90 (Gilchrist Construction Company)
As a result, DOTD has recommended rejecting the two bids, opting to reevaluate the scope of the project and construction market conditions, and re-bid it at a point in the future.
The La DOTD writes,
Over the last several months, DOTD has seen an increase in construction costs at project bidding. It appears that material and labor costs are the major factors driving the increased costs. With a set budget, significant cost increases will limit the number of projects that DOTD is able to bid out every year. We are evaluating the cost increases and their impacts the DOTD construction program and adjusting accordingly.
Hopefully the wait won't be a whole lot longer. I just don't think our vehicles can take it. Obviously, we'll keep you posted if we get any kind of updates on this.