Contact: Michael Bridges, 225.379.1270
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced Thursday it will accept a $141 million low bid by Massman Construction/Traylor Brothers Joint Venture for the first of three phases on a new La. 1 toll road and bridge in lower Lafourche and Jefferson parishes.
The overall La. 1 project consists of three phases; the approaches to the Bayou Lafourche crossing, the actual bridge over Bayou Lafourche and the elevated roadway from Bayou Lafourche to Port Fourchon. Bids for the bridge construction will be received Feb. 22, and bids for the roadway will be received this summer, DOTD Undersecretary Michael Bridges said.
The low bid was 35 percent higher than DOTD’s estimate on the project. Rising costs of manpower, equipment and supplies, combined with an overabundance of both scheduled large bridge projects and post-Katrina repair and replacement projects, are driving up the cost of construction across the southeastern United States. Bridges said the agency decided to accept the La. 1 bid to get the project started as quickly as possible.
In addition to the La. 1 project, DOTD also is receiving bids in the next few months on a new Mississippi River bridge between St. Francisville and New Roads, the project to widen the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish and a new I-10 “twin-span” bridge over Lake Pontchartrain.
Meanwhile, costs are escalating sharply in the region. On Monday, the Mississippi Department of Transportation received bids on two major bridge replacements that came 80 percent over estimate. Combined with Louisiana’s bridge projects, this activity amounts to nearly $2 billion worth of bridge construction lettings in less than 120 days.
“It’s a case of supply and demand,” Bridges said. “We were going to receive bids on the La. 1 elevated road from Bayou Lafourche to Port Fourchon this month, but we have decided to delay the bids until the summer to allow the construction market to stabilize and to see how the bids come in on St. Francisville and the ‘twin spans.’”