PCL Civil Constructors had been awarded the US$23.7 million project last month. The money that is saved will go towards the design and ultimately the construction of a new bridge.
"I want to invest in real, long-term, commonsense transportation solutions that make the best use of our financial resources,” said state governor John Bel Edwards. “By working with our state and local partners, we have developed a new strategy that will better serve Northwest Louisiana. The rehabilitation project would have spent more than US$20 million and would not address the overall problem. I’m confident that this is the wisest investment for Louisiana and the best approach to address the transportation challenges in the Shreveport-Bossier region.”
A final cost estimate for the new bridge isn’t yet available, but funding will need to come from a combination of state and federal resources. Nor has the timeline been established; Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development secretary Dr Shawn Wilson said that the most important step is to get the design process started.
“We always knew that the investment in maintenance of the current bridge would make the request for a new bridge less competitive,” Wilson said. “The step to forgo the rehabilitation project allows us to start the design process as soon as possible with the money we have.”
The department will continue to perform maintenance on the bridge, which was built in 1968.