Shed Road opening delayed again, other projects making progress

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Shed Road circa February 2019. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

During his monthly report to the Bossier City Council Tuesday, Engineer Mark Hudson revealed that Shed Road has not made much progress.

“I regret to tell you Shed Road is not much farther along than it was a month ago,” Hudson said during the March 19 meeting. “We still have to patch some concrete, grind some concrete, seal some concrete and stripe some concrete.”

He told the council he does not expect to be finished with the widening project by the end of March.

During the same meeting, the council gave final approval to appropriate $500,000 to come from the Riverboat Gaming Capital Fund to be used to pay for Shed Road Construction cost over runs, various change orders, and to supplement engineering design. 

Drivers and businesses along Shed Road have been dealing with construction since June 2016.

The construction was haunted by several issues, from bad weather and new water mains that were damaged and had to be dug up and replaced, to state-approved contractors going out of business and leaving materials in limbo.

The $9.5 million construction project was due to be originally completed in January 2018.

Hudson also discussed several other road projects and had better news regarding their progress.

He said the expansion of Viking Drive is advancing with the right of way map completed. He told the council the city will need to acquire 33 parcels of land, and that plans for the project will be close to being finished by mid-April.

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. Funding for the project will come from the 2018 LCDA bond fund, costing approximately $11 million. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

He said work on phase one of the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway started approximately a week ago. For phase two, Hudson’s office visited with the US Army Corps of Engineers about drainage issues, and their input will require a slight redesign. He said the right of way acquisition map shows the city needs 33 parcels of land for phase two and the city is acquiring about one per week.

The carriageway is an extension of the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway north that will bypass railroad tracks and serve as a new route through the city.

The $55 million project will be comprised of two phases. Phase 1 will extend the parkway from Traffic Street at the Texas Street Bridge to Old Benton Road. Phase 2 will run from there to Benton Road.

The project will begin at U.S. 80, or East Texas Street, and utilize Old Benton Road, Hamilton Road, and defunct Union Pacific railway property to link up with Benton Road near Citizens Bank Drive. 

Three roundabouts will be built at Texas Street, Hamilton Road and Shed Road to allow drivers to enter and exit the roadway. A new road will be built on abandoned railway property, and an overpass will also be built over the Union Pacific railroad track north of Citizens Bank Drive.