On Wednesday, June 13, the Louisiana Department of Transportation issued a press release where they readdressed the much-needed repairs to the I-210 bridge in Lake Charles. The latest proposed bid offers a shorter time period to complete repairs to the bridge than their original 3-year projections.

DOTD has specified $44.5 million to repair the I-210 bridge. The new bid offers a shorter time period of 365 days to complete the repairs in order to "minimize the inconvenience to the traveling public and to lessen complications to commerce," said the press release.

The bridge is claimed to be safe, but more importantly is the acknowledgment of the 54-year-old bridge's need for "necessary" repairs to sustain increased traffic in SWLA going into the future.

City of Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter issued a statement of his own in regards to the I-210 repair project, stating:

“We are thrilled to hear about the shorter timeframe for the upcoming 2-10 Bridge Project. We do not believe this result happened by accident; it is the direct result of local officials working hand in hand with our state counterparts and with private industry. Locally, we want to limit the effects of this project on both citizens and visitors. It makes economic sense to do this, but it is also about quality of life.”

Read the full DOTD Press Release below.

Lake Charles I-210 bridge repair project bid at 1 year, $44.5 million

Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at 1:09:58 PM

BATON ROUGE – The $44.5 million repair project for the I-210 Lake Prien Bridge in Lake Charles highlighted the most recent bid results on the Department of Transportation and Development projects. The apparent low bidder, Kiewit Louisiana Co., proposed a project time of 365 days.

“The proposed time is far less than the Department’s revised time estimate and will certainly not be as painful for the traveling public as what it would have been had the original contract not been rejected and reworked by the department,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “The DOTD staff worked hard to make innovative changes to the project that knocked down the estimated time for the repair work in an effort to minimize the inconvenience to the traveling public and to lessen complications to commerce.”

To achieve this outcome, DOTD implemented aggressive measures, which included bidding for cost and time, in an attempt to reduce the estimated project duration. A third lane closure option is available for contractors, and this option will improve access to the worksite and encourage night work. There were also timesaving changes to guardrails and the implementation of a driver-use cost that would be a disincentive for extended lane closures over the duration of the project.

“This bid and number of days does not consider an incentive package proposed by local business, industry and-or local governments that could be offered to the contractor,” Wilson said. “The Department values and understands the competition in this industry and this bid results proves its value. We took steps to reduce the time on the project and it went from an estimated three years to slightly less than 18 months. So, for Kiewit to come in at one year is a positive for all.”

The I-210 bridge has been in service for 54 years and requires repair work. Age and increased traffic could lead to safety concerns if repairs are not made. While the bridge is currently safe, repair work is necessary to maintain the bridge’s integrity into the future under increased traffic. DOTD remains committed to providing a safe transportation system.

After the bid is reviewed and confirmed, the contractor will have an assembly period. Once construction starts, it is projected to be completed in 365 calendar days.

“DOTD is dedicated to the completion of the repair project in the safest and most efficient way,” Wilson said. “We appreciate the public’s input and interest in making this happen. I would also like to thank legislators, local government and business/industry leaders for being engaged, offering assistance and providing awareness.”

More From Cajun Radio 1290 AM