Police Jury commits to BAFB project

Posted: Aug 16, 2018, 4:08 PM

Bossier Parish will soon officially become a partner in the Barksdale Access Interchange Improvement Project that will provide a north/south access road from the intersection of I-20 and I-220 to a new Barksdale Air Force Base entrance gate.

Members of the Bossier Parish Police Jury voted Wednesday to authorize Administrator Bill Altimus to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement between the parish and the state of Louisiana through the Dept. of Transportation and Development to help fund the project.

Overall cost of the project is expected to be around $90 million, of which 20 percent — $18 million — must come from local government participation.  According to the agreement, Bossier Parish’s share of the cost will be $3 million to be paid over a 12-year period in minimum annual installments of $250,000.

Bossier City would also contribute $3 million over 12 years, and $12 million would come from the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments/Metropolitan Planning Organization, to be paid out in $1 million installments for 12 years.

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, speaking in Bossier City earlier this year, announced a significant advancement for the project.

Wilson said DOTD has invited three design-build proposers to advance to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of the design-build procurement for the project. Those invited are James Construction Group, LLC; Gilchrist Construction Company, LLC; and PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. Proposals are expected to be opened publicly in early 2019.

Part of the funding for the project will come with the state’s first issuance of GARVEE bonds, which are special bonds that are repaid using federal funds allocated to Louisiana. DOTD has received the three approvals required by the Legislature to begin to access these bonds.

Funding for the project was also included in a $716 billion defense policy bill signed this week by President Donald Trump. That bill featured $295 million to update the B-52 bombers housed at Barksdale.