DOTD selects contractor for third phase of I-10 widening project

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The DOTD has accepted Gilchrist Construction’s $88 million bid for phase three of the I-10 widening project.

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The first phase of the I-10 widening project from I-49 to LA 328 Breaux Bridge costs $130 million. 

Phase two from LA 347 Henderson to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is $58 million. 

The future of phase three has just been announced. 

The DOTD said Gilchrist Construction presented the low bid at $88 million. 

Gilchrist will widen the section of I-10 from LA 328 in Breaux Bridge to LA 347 in Henderson from four to six lanes.  

The company’s bid stated it will do the work in 1,095 calendar days which is three years. 

“On the very large projects like this we bid calendar days,” explained DOTD District Administrator Bill Oliver. “It has a monetary value so that’s an incentive to the contractor to complete within that time without assessing penalties.” 

Oliver said work on phase three should start in spring 2020 and finish in 2023. 

It’s not the news drivers want to hear after more than two years of ongoing construction on I-10. 

“Oh that’s too long, yeah that’s too long. It’s a major congestion right there. People can’t get by. There’s a wreck, God forbid, people are sitting,” said Lana Higginbotham of Port Barre. 

There have also been traffic shifts during the past month. 

Traffic from the basin bridge to LA 347 has been shifted to the new westbound lanes so crews can rebuild the eastbound lanes.      

From I-49 to LA 328, east and westbound traffic has been moved to the new center lanes so crews can build new outside lanes. 

The two phases should be completed in April or May 2020. 

When the entire project is completed drivers will see new pavement and one or two new travel lanes on 15 miles of Interstate 10. 

“I think it will be a great improvement. Yes I think it will be worth all the misery we’re going through,” said Mickey Olivier of Lafayette. 

The DOTD’s Bill Oliver said work crews are also upgrading ramps and improving accessibility at the interchanges. 

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