LA Gov. Edwards, DOTD Choose Builder for Portion of $353M Canal Project

Tue June 02, 2020 - Southeast Edition
Office of the Governor of Louisiana



Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced May 26 that the state's Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has selected Boh Bros. Construction Company to build three new bridges as part of the Comite River Diversion Canal Project in East Baton Rouge Parish.

"Construction as well as maintaining and improving the state's infrastructure are essential functions and DOTD has continued to move projects forward, even during the COVID-19 pandemic," Edwards said. "These bridges are essential to the successful completion of the Comite River project and will be beneficial to the citizens of Louisiana."

New Orleans-based Boh Brothers Co. was one of 11 proposers who submitted Letters of Interest earlier this year, as well as one of five who submitted Statements of Qualifications, as part of an innovative delivery process called Construction Management at Risk (CMAR). This process uses a design professional that is engaged by DOTD for professional pre-design or design services, or both. DOTD contracts separately with a CMAR contractor to engage in the pre-construction phase.

"This is the first time DOTD has utilized a contract of this nature to deliver services for a major multi-phased project," said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson. "This delivery method reduces the amount of contract time because it allows for the contractor and designer to work together much earlier in the design process. This collaborative process saves the state time and money, allowing for the overall construction of the diversion channel to be completed. With appropriate revenue, we could use this on a multitude of projects we have planned."

The contractor also will be responsible for the construction of the following:

  • New bridge structures over the future Comite River Diversion Canal at LA Highway 67 and LA 19
  • A new railroad bridge structure over the future Comite River Diversion Canal at LA 19
  • Temporary at-grade highway bypass roads for LA 67 and LA 19
  • An at-grade shoo-fly for the Geaux Geaux railway on LA 19
  • Utility coordination and, as necessary, relocations
  • Maintenance of traffic
  • Local and business access

This is one phase of a $353 million project to construct a 12-mile-long diversion channel from the Comite River to the Mississippi River. The effort will include guide levees, a control structure at Lilly Bayou, and four drop structures of the diversion channel's at McHugh Road, Bayou Baton Rouge, Cypress Bayou and White Bayou.

Construction on this project is estimated to begin in Summer 2021.