By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The new entrance to Barksdale took another step towards completion this week with project bid openings.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) held a public bid-opening Tuesday for the I-20/I-220/BAFB Interchange Project in Bossier Parish.
DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson opened sealed bids from James Construction Group, LLC. and Gilchrist Construction Company for the project.
James Construction Group, LLC was identified as the successful bidder with an amount of $71,818,850 and a proposed time of 912 calendar days, or almost 2.5 years, during which to complete the project.
Gilchrist Construction Company had a bid of $81,498,736.54 and a proposed time of 712 calendar days to complete the project.
“Less than 13 months ago, this Mega Project in the State’s Transportation Master Plan had no funding identified, no environmental clearance, nor anyone selected to build it,” said Dr. Wilson. “Today is an example of what we can accomplish by staying the course and working together on the local, state, and federal level.”
After this bid opening, the project moves into the next phase, and a contract execution is anticipated to be complete in March 2019.
“Announcing this bid opening is verification that DOTD is efficient and effective in delivering infrastructure in an innovative way if given the resources. I applaud the staff of professionals that worked at record pace in delivering this project,” Dr. Wilson said.
According to DOTD, the interchange project will create a new access point into Barksdale Air Force Base, improving security for the military installation and its mission, as well as alleviating traffic congestion at other BAFB gates.
The City of Bossier, Bossier Parish, and the local Metropolitan Planning Organization have all made funding commitments, and public support has been issued by local economic development groups in the region.
This project and two other significant infrastructure projects are being funded through the state’s first issuance of GARVEE bonds, which are special bonds that will be repaid over 12 years using federal funds allocated to Louisiana. DOTD has received the three approvals required by the Legislature to begin to access these bonds.