The bridge was built in 1952 and needs to be replaced to meet today’s federal highway standards.
The total cost of constructing a new bridge is estimated to be between US$600 millon and US$800 million, dependent on the preferred alternative chosen. The client, Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) has committed US$85 million, to the P3.
DOTD secretary Shawn Wilson said: “By utilising a public-private partnership, the only way to move forward with this project is with the help of the private sector and a user fee. The cost of doing nothing is far greater.”
The project is nearing the end of the environmental phase. Three alternative locations have been identified and will be evaluated in the environmental impact statement. A public meeting will be scheduled in spring 2021 to present the preliminary findings that will determine which of the alternatives is preferred. A decision is anticipated by 2022, with a contract scheduled to be awarded in early 2023.