Plan to widen Viking Drive takes a step forward

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Bossier City is working on traffic relief by expanding one of its roads in north Bossier.

Officials are currently working on choosing right-of-way land that needs to be acquired for the widening of Viking Drive. 

“It can be May or June before we start making offers to buy property,” said Bossier City Engineer Mark Hudson.

Currently, Viking Drive is a two-lane street with ditches on either side. After the expansion is complete, the road will be a three-lane roadway with underground drainage connecting Airline Drive and Swan Lake Road.

Bids for construction of the project should take place towards the end of this year.

“Our project manager in Baton Rouge is hoping that we can bid this project in December of this year,” Hudson said. 

Once construction begins, he believes it will take 18 months for the project to be completed.

“There are no big structures or big bridges. I don’t anticipate any issues,” Hudson said. “The issue with building this stretch of Viking Drive is going to be maintaining the 6,300 cars per day. Were not going to shut down the road, so the contractor will have to build a lot of temporary lanes and spend a lot of time with traffic control.”

Funding for the project will come from the 2018 LCDA bond fund, costing approximately $11 million. Design, construction, right-of-way purchase, and utility relocations are included in the price tag.

The project is a federal and city endeavor, with 80 percent federally funded and 20 percent city funded.

Late last year, the Bossier City Council approved a $60 million bond to help fund numerous projects, including the expansion and improvements to city roads.

An estimated 6,300 cars a day travel on Viking Drive. Over the next 20 years, Hudson anticipates around 13,000 cars per day will travel on the road.