BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced the completion of the U.S. 90 interchange at La. 85 project in Iberia Parish. The completion of this project furthers DOTD’s efforts to make U.S. 90 a limited-access highway, upgrading U.S. 90 to interstate standards.
The $24.5 million project, located at the intersection of U.S. 90 and La. 85 just west of Jeanerette, consisted of constructing two new parallel girder bridges, relocating a communication tower, and patching and paving existing roadways. Work on the interchange was 100-percent funded by federal stimulus funds received from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The prime contractor was Gilchrist Construction Company LLC. The rest of the project team consisted of ABMB Engineers Inc., AECOM USA Inc., GeoEngineers Inc. and APEX Engineering Corp. Work on the project began in May 2010.
“The U.S. 90 interchange at La. 85 is an important project for Iberia Parish, providing enhanced access and increased safety for over 17,000 motorists who travel this segment of U.S. 90 daily,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E.
The project was constructed under the design-build method. A design-build project requires a construction/engineering team to design and build a project under general guidelines from the state. Most projects are bid under a design-bid-build model, in which DOTD or a consultant of DOTD designs a project that is let to bid to a construction company. Because the engineering/construction team takes on the design responsibility under a design-build project, construction is generally less expensive and can begin much sooner than it would under the more typical design-bid-build-project. In fact, using the unique design-build method enabled DOTD to secure the ARRA funding necessary to construct the U.S. 90 interchange at La. 85.
In March, the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) honored DOTD as its 2011 Transportation Owner of the Year in the category of Highway/ Bridges for its work on five design-build construction projects, including the U.S. 90 interchange at La. 85.
DOTD has used the design-build method to expedite the project-delivery process, making projects "shovel-ready" faster and successfully meeting aggressive funding schedules. The agency also developed a design-build task force, through which a collaborative team of industry participants reviewed the design-build process to suggest improvements. The task force has provided valuable industry input to the agency, also affording design-builders and potential design-builders the opportunity to better understand DOTD's design-build process. Additionally, to provide further aid in the understanding and implementation of this method, the agency has recently committed to the development of a Design-Build Manual, intended to be used as a resource for both internal personnel and design-builders.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.