Access Road to Barksdale Airforce Base Contract Signed

Posted: Apr 24, 2019, 3:06 PM

It’s official. A contract was signed and notice to proceed was issued Wednesday to mark the beginning of a $71.8 million project that will construct a new access road into Barksdale Air Force Base from the I-20/I-220 interchange east of Bossier City.

State DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson signed the contract giving the go-ahead to James Construction Group, LLC, one of two bidders that were asked to submit proposals for the project.

James was awarded the contract during a public bid opening Feb. 5. The general contracting company has offices primarily in Louisiana and Texas, including Ruston and Shreveport.

“This is one of the most significant steps in arriving at the point of turning dirt on a project,” Dr. Wilson said. “This project is of particular importance to the community because this new gate will transform the way commercial deliveries enter Barksdale Air Force Base, vastly improving security and traffic congestion.” Officials said the project should take two and a half years to complete. Plans call for construction of a new road that extends southward from the I-220/I-20 interchange into the base. Current safety concerns associated with railroad crossings and congestion at other base entrance points will be eliminated. “We couldn’t be more proud of how this project has been managed,” Dr. Wilson added. “A little over a year ago, this mega project in the state’s Transportation Master Plan sat on the shelf with no funding identified. But we remained determined to utilize innovative funding mechanisms to keep the processes on course, and move forward with extreme efficiency.” This project and two other significant infrastructure projects are being 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.

Bossier Parish, the City of Bossier, and the local Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments/Metropolitan Planning Organization have all made funding commitments. Public support has also been voiced by local economic development groups in the region.

Utilizing the design-build method of project delivery will expedite the process by allowing the design and construction phases to take place simultaneously while employing innovations. The project is estimated to be complete in October 2021. A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the project is scheduled for May 14, 2019.

(Photo, from left) DOTD Sec. Dr. Shawn Wilson and District 04 Administrator David North, P.E.)