Bossier City engineer gives update on new major roadway

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The new major roadway for Bossier City is making progress, but it is slightly behind schedule.

Bossier City Engineer Mark Hudson gave an update Tuesday to the Bossier City Council on the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway project, which will create a loop around Bossier City from the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway to Benton Road.

“Phase I, the U.S. Hwy. 80 section of the project, of the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway project is coming along. The good news is that a lot of people work on it six days per week. The bad news is we’ve uncovered more surprises then I thought we would,” Hudson said. “The water main location down there is probably 10 weeks behind schedule. If everything goes according to plan, it will be done (today).”

However, Hudson told the council that laying the foundation for the next phase of the project is going well ahead of being put out to bid next year.

“We’re making good progress on all those items we need to accomplish before we put this phase out to bid. We’re acquiring the remainder of the right of way pretty fast now,” he said. “There’s always lots of activity going on the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway project. I’m thinking we can bid this next June or July. ”

The parkway extension will use East Texas Street (U.S. Hwy. 80) in downtown Bossier City to begin the new route, which will use Old Benton Road, Hamilton Road, abandoned Union Pacific railway property, and roundabouts to get travelers from East Texas Street to Benton Road near I-220.

Three roundabouts will be created at Texas Street, Hamilton Road and Shed Road to allow drivers to get on and off the extension.

A new road will be built on abandoned railway property, eventually running alongside existing Union Pacific railroad. An overpass also will be built over the Union Pacific railroad track north of Citizens Bank Drive, and the extension will end at Benton Road.

Further traffic project updates discussed at the council meeting were the expansion of Swan Lake Road under I-220, the widening of Viking Drive, extension of Coleman Street in East Bank, and the extension of Innovation Drive to Airliner Drive.

  • Innovation Drive: Hudson said “This particular project is making great progress every day.” Three crews are currently laying the main sewer line. The water line is in the ground. Hudson stated he expects the paving to start in about a month. He added that this project is expected to be completed in September 2020.
  • Viking Drive: Still on track and should be out to bid September of next year.
  • Swan Lake Road and I-220: The city’s change order plans are now complete. Engineers estimate the total change order will be about $1.7 million. 
  • Coleman Street: Hudson meet with SWEPCO Monday and discussed the best type of lighting for Coleman Street. Both agreed but Hudson did not disclose what that entails.