SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) Construction of a second bridge parallel to the two-lane Jimmie Davis Bridge will have to wait, but repairs to the existing span over the Red River are in the works.
The Times reports an amendment in the state’s capital outlay bill allocating $1.3 million to begin repairs is set to go before the state Bond Commission in September.
If approved, the allocation would fund engineering and other early-stage costs for the renovation of the bridge.
“This is a first start to get the Jimmie Davis Bridge back in shape,” said Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City. “They can start doing planning and engineering and next year move more money into it.”
An additional $9.2 million for the remainder of the project was listed as “priority five” in the state’s capital outlay budget, which means funding should come in the future.
The Louisiana Highway 2 bridge near Plain Dealing was used as the example of how much funding would be needed as it was constructed about the same time as the Jimmie Davis Bridge and was rehabilitated several years ago. Plans include lighting, painting and resurfacing of the bridge.
Peacock originally sought $119 million to fund revamping the Jimmie Davis Bridge and construction of a second bridge to parallel the existing one, effectively creating four lanes for traffic.
But with Interstate 69 in the works, a bridge could be built farther south near the Port of Caddo-Bossier and later used as the interstate’s crossing over the Red River.