Work is underway preparing for the groundbreaking of the new entrance to Barksdale Air Force Base off the I-20/220 interchange.
Heavy equipment has been located off the interchange by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to prepare for the groundbreaking event.
The groundbreaking is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15 at 10 a.m. Gov. John Bel Edwards and DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson will be in attendance, as will local officials and dignitaries.
The contract with James Construction Group, LLC was signed April 24 and the notice to proceed was issued, marking the official beginning of the project.
“This project is of particular importance to the community because this new gate will transform the way commercial deliveries enter Barksdale Air Force Base, vastly improving security and traffic congestion,” Dr. Wilson said at the signing.
The $71.8 million, 2.5-year project will construct a new road that extends southward from the I-220/I-20 interchange into the base, eliminating current safety concerns associated with railroad crossings and congestion at other base entrance points.
Utilizing the design-build method of project delivery will expedite the process by allowing the design and construction phases to take place simultaneously while employing innovations. The project is estimated to be complete in October 2021.
The City of Bossier, Bossier Parish, and the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments 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.