BATON ROUGE, La. – Bids on the first two federal stimulus-funded transportation projects came in below the estimated cost today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary William D. Ankner announced.
The 4.7-mile segment of I-49 in north Caddo Parish came in at $31,126,131, approximately $4.7 million dollars under the estimate. The apparent low bidder on the project was Austin Bridge & Road LP. The Bayou Lafourche Bridge in Larose project came in at $30,442,823.03, approximately $132,000 under the estimate. The apparent low bidder on the project was James Construction Group LLC.
“This is a great start to our program, and I hope it’s a good omen for the other stimulus projects – not only for the prices, but also for the competition we are seeing for this work,” Secretary Ankner said.
Ankner thanked Gov. Bobby Jindal, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Louisiana Congressional Delegation for securing and authorizing use of the stimulus funds.
“We are moving quickly and we are committed to getting these projects out as soon as possible to retain jobs, grow jobs, and improve our transportation system,” he said.
The I-49 contract will pave four lanes of roadway from Mira-Myrtis Road to LA 168. This project is “Segment B” of the 36-mile I-49 North project, which will construct a four-lane interstate with a 4-foot inside shoulder and a 10-foot outside shoulder from I-220 in Shreveport to the Arkansas state line.
The Bayou Lafourche Bridge in Larose project will replace an existing two-lane pontoon bridge on La. 310, which connects La. 1 to La. 308. The new bridge, which will be built about a quarter mile away from the existing bridge, will be a six-lane vertical-lift bridge which connects with the La. 657 alignment, built in 2004. The project, in combination with the ongoing upgrade of La. 1 from Port Fourchon to Golden Meadow, will provide a substantially more efficient freight corridor to access Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas resources. Eighteen percent of the nation’s energy supply flows through Port Fourchon.
The I-49 project and the Bayou Lafourche Bridge in Larose project are being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, from which DOTD will receive $298 million for projects. To select the projects, DOTD created a geographically equitable list that gave preference to projects that were ready to be let and had no further engineering or right-of-way costs. Other criteria included bridge projects and road projects that had high traffic volume and statewide economic impacts, provided national significance and complemented the previous investment of state dollars.
To track the progress of DOTD’s stimulus-funded projects, visit www.dotd.la.gov/arra.