DOTD: Jimmie Davis Bridge won't likely close for repairs until summer

DOTD: Jimmie Davis Bridge won't likely close for repairs until summer

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The Jimmie Davis Bridge connecting Shreveport and South Bossier might not close for repairs until summer, based on new information revealed Tuesday in preparation for the project.

Previously, the bridge was expected to be shut down as early as January and later pushed back to Spring of 2015.

Department of Transportation and Development leaders met with PCL Civil Constructors Inc., the contractors selected for the Jimmie Davis Bridge overhaul at a pre-construction meeting Tuesday.

According to DOTD Spokesman Cindy Dorfner, the contractor has opted to take the full 120 day assembly period before any work will be done.

That period is used to gather materials and equipment necessary to do the work. The clock for that period will start ticking when the Tampa, Florida based company signs a "Notice to Proceed" document on January 23. That means the assembly period will wrap at the end of May. From that point on, the contractors will be required to get the whole project done in 550 days. Once the bridge is closed, the DOTD has mandated the work be completed within 365 days. The company will be fined for each day beyond the 365-day deadline.

The company will be paid $23,437,790.82 for their work to repair the bridge and paint it, according to DOTD's project letting info. Their bid price was about $3.2 million over DOTD's estimated project cost of $20,227,731.34. Dorfner says PCL Civil Constructors Inc. was the only company to bid for the project.

PCL Civil Constructors leaders still do not have a clear idea of when the bridge will close for repairs, Dorfner said, but the company has assured the DOTD they will present a detailed and complete plan in 30 days.

According to Dorfner, the contractor did express an interest in trying to complete some of the work while keeping the bridge open.

Once the bridge does close, it will take a full year to complete the improvements, which includes structural repairs and sprucing it up with new paint and lights.

Drivers will have to find alternative routes across the river during that time.

Though a clear closure date has not been set, Dorfner says the time frame laid out indicates a summer shutdown is now more likely.

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