BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana highway officials say plans to replace Jimmie Davis Bridge, a major connector between Bossier City and Shreveport, are moving forward.
And the latest discussions include a new bridge accompanied by turning the existing one into a crossover for pedestrians.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced in June that plans to rehabilitate the Louisiana Highway 511 bridge across Red River had been scrapped and the state would move forward with replacing the span.
That decision came after a $23.4 million contract to rehabilitate the bridge was terminated over a disagreement between the state and the contractor over how to get rid of cliff swallows, a protected breed of bird, living under the bridge.
The funds that would have been used on the rehabilitation project will be diverted toward the design and construction of the bridge.
LaDOTD spokeswoman Erin Buchanan said the design process is under way.
Designers are working to create a pedestrian crossing that connects Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway in Shreveport and Arthur Ray Teague Parkway in Bossier City while incorporating the Complete Streets Program into the project.
They say they want to ensure complete pedestrian access and safety throughout the project on both sides of the river.
While the concepts are being designed, the project manager and LaDOTD team in Baton Rouge are planning public meetings during which people will get an opportunity to look at the proposed design, ask questions and provide feedback.
State highway officials say they also still are revising an environmental assessment, the majority of which was completed prior to the initial bridge rehabilitation project, to take into account the change in the scope of the project.
That part of the process is expected to be completed in the next few months.