DOTD secretary says Jimmie Davis Bridge project going back to square one

The project would provide a new bridge with expanded traffic capacity across the Red River.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - The secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) was in Bossier City on Thursday to give updates on a number of road projects in northwest Louisiana.

Dr. Shawn Wilson attended the Rotary Club of Bossier City’s meeting Thursday, Oct. 6. Some of the projects he discussed included the Jimmie Davis Bridge and repairs to Interstate 20.

Officials have been talking about it for years: either rehabbing or completely rebuilding the Jimmie Davis Bridge, which spans the Red River and connects south Bossier and south Shreveport. Well now, Dr. Wilson says the project is going back to square one.

In August, the department announced its plans to reinitiate the procurement process for the Jimmie Davis Bridge project. The project would provide a new bridge with expanded traffic capacity across the Red River. Wilson explained Thursday why they decided to re-bid the project.

”Unfortunately, we have very limited teams that compete in that process. In that process, we got down to one single team. Because we haven’t had the competitive attention that was necessary, we had to go out and re-bid the project. So we’re in that phase,” said Wilson.

The multimillion-dollar project consists of a new four-lane bridge, along with making the current Jimmie Davis Bridge bike and pedestrian friendly.

“We have settled on a four-lane bridge with the rehabilitation of this bridge as a linear park, and it’s going to allow for bike and pedestrian resources to be used on that. Connecting the two linear parks that exist on either side. So, there will be a four-lane bridge without the bike path elements because that will be part of the rehabilitation of the Jimmie Davis Bridge and it’s estimated to be right around $150 million,” said Wilson.

He said he hopes by later this year, they’ll have identified teams for what they’re going to do with the design and build of the bridge.

“We had to move forward with the RFQ and the RFP which is going to save time and be a little bit more aggressive than it was last time. And we expect to have better results in terms of the qualifications.”