DOTD: Repairs to the I-210 Bridge may only take one year

DOTD: Repairs to the I-210 Bridge may only take one year
(Source: KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Repairs to the I-210 bridge may not take as long as feared.

The contractor for the lowest bid, Kiewit Louisiana Co., says it can finish the project in exactly one year, much lower than the three years talked about in the past, according to DOTD.

"The proposed time is far less than the Department's revised time estimate and will certainly not be as painful for the traveling public as what it would have been had the original contract not been rejected and reworked by the department," said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D.

A third lane closure option is available for contractors, and this option will improve access to the worksite and encourage night work, according to DOTD. There were also time-saving changes to guardrails and the implementation of a driver-use cost that would be a disincentive for extended lane closures over the duration of the project.

The bid still needs final approval and there's no word on when work would start.

"This bid and number of days does not consider an incentive package proposed by local business, industry and-or local governments that could be offered to the contractor," Wilson said. "The Department values and understands the competition in this industry and this bid results prove its value. We took steps to reduce the time on the project and it went from an estimated three years to slightly less than 18 months. So, for Kiewit to come in at one year is a positive for all."

Age and increased traffic could lead to safety concerns if repairs are not made, according to DOTD. While the bridge is currently safe, repair work is necessary to maintain the bridge's integrity into the future under increased traffic.

"We appreciate the public's input and interest in making this happen. I would also like to thank legislators, local government and business/industry leaders for being engaged, offering assistance and providing awareness," Wilson said.

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