The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development looks back on its accomplishments for 2019. From January 1 through November 30, a total of 253 projects consisting of 745 miles were let around the state, equaling an investment of $914 million.
By the end of the year, those numbers are expected to increase to 329 projects, 942 miles, and $1.1 billion.
“Looking back since 2016 and reflecting on 2019, I could not be any prouder of my department. We’ve been able to make a great deal of progress in 2019,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “Our use of innovative funding and project delivery methods has proven fruitful, and we will continue this practice in 2020 and beyond. The things we’ve done this past year aren’t just DOTD accomplishments; they are infrastructure investments for the citizens, businesses, and visitors of our great state.”
A notable example of innovative efforts is the use GARVEE bonds, Construction Manager at Risk procurement, design-build, and the state’s first infrastructure public-private partnership in Louisiana’s history.
Major projects let in 2019 include:
- The second phase of the Pecue Lane/I-10 interchange in Baton Rouge
- I-220/I-20 interchange improvements and access to Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City
- I-10 improvements and addition of auxiliary lanes in Lake Charles
- I-10/Loyola Drive interchange improvements in Kenner
- I-10 widening between Breaux Bridge and Henderson
- Rehabilitation of the I-20 bridge at the Mississippi state line
- Replacement of the LA 24 bridge over Company Canal in Bourg
- Replacement of the LA 16 bridge over the Amite River in French Settlement
- Widening of I-12 in Covington
- Additionally, the department celebrated a groundbreaking for the long-awaited Comite River Diversion Canal project.
- 2019 also saw the completion of several major projects, including
- New I-10/Terrace Avenue interchange in Baton Rouge
- Replacement of the U.S. 80 bridge over Boone Creek near Minden
- Prien Lake Road Relocation Project in Lake Charles
Other notable events that occurred in 2019 include:
- Completion of emergency repairs to the Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville and the Intracoastal Bridge along LA 1 in Port Allen (both due to separate vehicular collisions)
- Implementation of a new truck permitting system called LaGeaux
- Expansion of Motorist Assistance Patrol to the Northshore region
- Response to Tropical Storm Barry
The department also won the regional award for “Best Use of Technology and Innovation” for the new I-49/I-220 interchange in Shreveport, an award presented by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Ongoing major projects in 2019 include:
- Installation of median cable barriers along I-49
- Rehabilitation of several segments of I-20 between Texas and Mississippi
- Rehabilitation of I-10 and I-210 in Lake Charles
- Widening of I-10 between Lafayette and the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
- Widening of I-10 between Baton Rouge and Prairieville
- Widening of Arkansas Road in West Monroe
- Widening of LA 42 in Prairieville
- “Road diet” of Government Street in Baton Rouge
- Rehabilitation of West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge in Larose
- Rehabilitation of U.S. 11 across Lake Pontchartrain
- Rehabilitation/replacement of many smaller bridges across the state
- Installation of roundabouts throughout the state
DOTD is making several safety improvements to work zones following two tragic accidents that claimed the lives of Johnny Cole and Jeff Curry, employees of the Monroe and Lafayette districts, respectively. These improvements include the requirement of a spotter on any two-person operation, the use of a cone equipped with an alarm that will sound if hit, the purchase of 70 trailer-mounted attenuators designed to absorb crash impact, a color change to bright yellow/green on safety vests and uniforms, and the transition of emergency lights on DOTD vehicles to green and amber.
For more information on DOTD projects, please visit www.dotd.la.gov.