MINDEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Department of Transportation is set to begin a $2.5 million project next week to lower US 80 at the I-20 overpass west of Minden in Webster Parish as part of the state’s promise to help keep a major north Louisiana employer from leaving.
Fibrebond employs 750 people in the Webster Parish town of Minden, but in August 2019, the company said the poor condition of local bridges were forcing it to consider relocating to east Texas.
The US 80 underpass is on a haul route frequently used by Minden-based Fibrebond Corporation, but it was too low to accommodate Fibrebond’s specially manufactured loads.
The work will begin Tuesday to lower the height of the roadway 3.5 feet in the westbound direction and four feet in the eastbound direction as it runs under the interstate.
“My administration worked diligently alongside DOTD, Louisiana Economic Development, and other partners to develop solutions to help keep Fibrebond Corp. in Minden, providing vital jobs for the northwest Louisiana area,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards in a statement released by the La. DOTD. “I’m pleased that work is getting underway so quickly and that we’ll be seeing progress soon on the project.”
Th contractor plans to begin lowering the eastbound direction first, which includes the majority of the drainage work. That will require a complete closure of US 80 in the eastbound direction while the work is underway.
A similar closure will be necessary during the lowering of the westbound direction. The alternate route will be I-20.
The entire project is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2020.