By Amanda Simmons, firstname.lastname@example.org
Half of the Shed Road widening is nearing completion, while a widened Wemple Road is set to open next month allowing things can get back to normal for Bossier City drivers and residents.
Bossier City Engineer Mark Hudson said the Shed Road project has been plagued with all kinds of problems – bad weather, unforeseen obstacles. But there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I believe they will be finished in about four months,” Hudson said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’s less than that, but I’m thinking four months.”
Shed Road is still a big construction site and an inconvenience to motorists and business owners. Hudson said two way traffic should reopen between Doctors Drive and Airline Drive within the next month.
“That’s where the real bottleneck is,” Hudson said. “Some of those businesses there have suffered the most. That area will be a lot easier to work with in about another month or so.”
The $9.5 million construction project is a federal and city endeavor, with 80 percent federally funded and 20 percent city funded. The road connects Benton Road to Airline Highway and is currently being expanded from two lanes to four.
Hudson told the Bossier City Council in March that Fessler and Bowman estimated the project would be finished in January 2019. However, the field supervisor on the project told him it could be done by October of this year.
The contract is set to expire in September, Hudson said. He told commissioners the contractor is penalized $975 a day for every day past the expiration of the contract.
The Wemple Road widening project has been the complete opposite of Shed Road – no surprises or problems. Hudson said the contractor is working six days a week and making great progress.
“Their goal is to be finished by July 4,” Hudson said. “That might be a little optimistic, but it won’t be too long after that if they don’t make it.”
The $1.4 million project is widening the existing two lane road into a three lane road and adding new curbs, gutters and underground drainage. The project stretches east from Airline Drive to the Lakewood subdivision, totaling 2,336 feet in length.
The project was originally identified as a need when Walmart said it would be building a Supercenter on Airline Drive at Wemple Road. However, that project fell through last March.
Still, the potential remains for future commercial development at that location. The addition of a center turn lane also opens up access to the land south of Wemple Road for future development.