Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has decided to award the contract to James Construction Group, which submitted a price bid of US$361,743,367 and a proposed time of just under five years.

The existing Jimmie Davis Bridge

Above: the existing Jimmie Davis Bridge

DOTD said that the cost is substantially higher than what was anticipated and so it has carefully reviewed the proposal to determine the basis for the price bid. Its staff determined that the proposal came in higher than expected due to increasing construction inflation, especially with items such as concrete and steel. In its analyses, DOTD determined that the cost of some items are likely to continue to rise and, with an almost five-year construction period, the cost of the project includes some consideration of this risk. DOTD does not anticipate that a lower cost would be achievable with a new procurement or different project delivery method.

The original design-build procurement for this project was cancelled in August 2022 due to lack of competition. DOTD reinitiated the procurement process, incorporating changes to address feedback received. With this second procurement, it said that it continues to see high market cost and the absence of competition, paired with inflation over the construction duration.

The design-builder will construct a new four-lane bridge north of the current structure. Once complete, the Jimmie Davis Bridge will be rehabilitated into a linear park that will connect the existing bicycle and pedestrian trails across the Red River. 

Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2024, with an estimated completion in late 2028, weather permitting.