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Sunday, November 18, 2018



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State accepts $13 million bid to widen Leeville Bridge

State accepts $13 million bid to widen Leeville Bridge


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development accepted a $13 million bid Wednesday to widen a curve on the Leeville Bridge.

James Construction Group was named the low bidder at $13.25 million. It was the largest project among 11 awarded across the state totaling $23.4 million.

“We are proud to announce these latest bid results,” said DOTD Assistant Secretary of Operations Kirk Gallien. “We must continue to use our resources wisely in order to invest in maintaining our state’s infrastructure for Louisiana’s citizens and visitors.”

The upcoming project is phase 2E of the state’s La. 1 Project, a planned 18-mile elevated highway between Golden Meadow and Port Fourchon.

“This project will widen the existing elevated portion of the Leeville Bridge where drivers have to make a 90 degree left turn onto the expressway from the north toll connector. The roadway will be widened up to 24 feet at the turn,” DOTD Public Information Officer Bambi Hall said.

Several hundred feet of new construction will also be built to the right of the turn in preparation for future phases of the bridge, which will continue toward Golden Meadow, Hall said.

James Construction Group completed previous phases of the project, including construction of the elevated highway from Leeville to Port Fourchon, La. 1 Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet said.

By widening the curve to three lanes, the project will be ahead of the game for when the roadway is extended to Golden Meadow, he said.

This will allow for the addition of a left turn lane to exit at Leeville as the roadway connects to the future structure to the north, Boulet said.

“It will have immediate utility to drivers once it’s complete as a wider and safer curve,” he said.

Work is expected to begin in April or May with a scheduled completion around May 2020, La. 1 DOTD Project Manager Timothy Nickel said.

Traffic should continue to flow throughout the process, but some safety measures such as lowered speed limits will be put in place, Boulet said.

The project is listed in the state’s transportation improvement plan, giving it an advantage compared to other projects due to its advanced design and permitting, Boulet said.

The coalition is also keeping an eye on President Donald Trump’s infrastructure initiative, hoping to gain some additional money for Phase 2.

“We plan to be very aggressive when that full plan comes out,” Boulet said.

Once complete, the La. 1 relocation project will include 73-foot vertical openings, channel crossings for the Boudreaux and Bollinger canals, two elevated bridge intersections on the north and south ends of the Leeville Bridge connecting the relocated La. 1 with existing roadways, and a toll booth located in Leeville.

The first four phases of the project, 1A, B, C and D, are complete, and traffic is open from Leeville to Port Fourchon.

Phase 1A was opened in 2011 after construction began in 2006. The Leeville Bridge, phases 1B and C, opened in July of 2009.

Phases 2A, B and C will result in a nine-mile, two-lane elevated highway from Golden Meadow, at La. 3235, to Leeville.

Phase 2A is near completion of final plans, 2B is about 60 percent completed with final plans, 2C has completed plans and is awaiting money, and 2D is still compiling toll and roadway geometry, Nickel said.

Maps and information about the larger project can be found at dotd.la.gov/la1project.

-- Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.