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Major Work on Bossier City, La., Interchange to Continue Into Spring

Tue January 11, 2022 - Southeast Edition
Bossier Press-Tribune & Louisiana DOTD


DOTD officials observe work being done on the I-20/I-220 BAFB Interchange. (Scott Ferrell/The Times photo)
DOTD officials observe work being done on the I-20/I-220 BAFB Interchange. (Scott Ferrell/The Times photo)

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) on Jan. 7 began to advise motorists that ramp and lane closures have been scheduled for the ongoing construction of the new Interstate-20/I-220/Barksdale Air Force Base (BAFB) Interchange Access Project in Bossier City.

The estimated $73 million effort is designed to create a new access road into the base, the first entrance of its kind via an interstate in the area, extending southward from the existing I-20/I-220 interchange.

It also will be the first access road for Barksdale AFB that does not have to cross a railroad track. In addition, the road also will provide for improved connectivity and security for all types of commercial deliveries and general access to the base.

Louisiana DOTD noted that intermittent lane closures and/or rolling roadblocks will occur as necessary on both I-20 and I-220 eastbound and westbound as construction progresses for approximately three months.

For instance, the transportation department has notified the public that I-220's eastbound inside lane, from U.S. Highway 80 to I-20 is to be closed the weekend of Jan. 14-17, along with the U.S. 80 on-ramp to I-220 eastbound. In addition, I-20's westbound outside lane also also be blocked to motorists Jan. 15 to dawn on Jan. 17.

"DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment," read a DOTD press release about the lane closures.

For more information on the temporary roadblocks, call 511, visit www.511la.org, or download the Louisiana 511 mobile app for additional information. Out-of-state travelers may call 888/762-3511 and all motorists can check the LA DOTD website at www.dotd.la.gov, by selecting MyDOTD, or by visiting the DOTD Facebook and Twitter pages.

New Road to Improve BAFB Access

The I-20/I-220 BAFB Interchange project had been a part of Louisiana's overall transportation plan for many years until it finally broke ground in April 2019.

With the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards, DOTD pursued approval of the Joint Transportation Committee to utilize the design-build method of project delivery. The design-build mechanism can expedite project delivery by combining the design and construction phases.

The Bossier City interchange project, as well as two other significant infrastructure projects in other parts of Louisiana, was funded through the state's first issuance of GARVEE bonds, which are special bonds that will be repaid over 12 years using federal funds allocated to Louisiana.

The new road and gate at BAFB were designed to consider projected population growth and increased traffic counts, as well as enhance security and alleviate traffic congestion at other base entrance points. Barksdale employees and their families should also enjoy easier commutes to schools and other attractions.

Edwards touched on this last summer on a tour of the work site by noting the community's important relationship with BAFB, specifically the base's improvement on quality of life in the area, the Bossier Press-Tribune reported.

"We're going to improve the lives of people in northwest Louisiana, principally the airmen who live here," Edwards said. "The quality of life is going to go up. We are demonstrating a real commitment to the Air Force and to Barksdale Air Force Base."

The contract for the project was awarded to James Construction Group LLC., a Louisiana-based contractor.

The city of Bossier, Bossier Parish and the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (NLCOG) all made funding commitments to help ensure the project moved forward.

According to DOTD, the $73 million construction is making significant progress, with the new overpass now spanning I-20 as it continues southward toward BAFB. A completion date for the project, however, has yet to be announced.




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