Gov't

DOTD Press Release on Magnolia Bridge Widening

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Submitted by David Barrow

Yesterday, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on a project to replace the La. 64 Magnolia Bridge, connecting East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes. The ceremony was held at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church where DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by state and local officials.

Guest speakers included U.S. Congressman Bill Cassidy, State Senator Dale Erdey, State Representative Clif Richardson, State Representative J. Rogers Pope, State Representative Mack “Bodi” White and Livingston Parish President Mike Grimmer.

DOTD Secretary LeBas said, “DOTD has invested over $565 million in projects in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes. The start of construction to replace and widen the Magnolia Bridge on La. 64 is another example of DOTD, the Jindal administration and the legislature’s commitment to improving infrastructure for residents in this area.”

Since the Jindal administration took office in January 2008, DOTD has invested a total of $3.5 billion in infrastructure projects across the state. Since 2007, DOTD has received over $1.3 billion in state surplus funding as well as another $430 million in federal recovery funds. This fiscal year, approximately $150 million in transportation projects funded through state bond proceeds were included in the capital outlay bill (HB2).
In addition, a new cash management plan developed by DOTD last year freed up $120 million to accelerate road work across the state. DOTD identified cash balances that can be used to advance construction projects from their original bid dates. Gasoline revenue projections vary year-to-year, and therefore revenue is often over collected when compared to the projected budget and there are typically un-used operational funds.  This results in an undesignated fund balance. The replacement of the Magnolia Bridge is among twelve projects that are being built from funding through the plan.

The project will replace the existing two-lane La. 64 Magnolia Bridge with a new four-lane bridge. The project will be built to the north of the existing bridge. Traffic will remain on the existing bridge until construction is complete. The new bridge will have two 12-foot lanes in each direction and 10-foot outside shoulders. Nearly 26,000 drivers cross the bridge each day. In addition to the bridge replacement, the project will widen La. 64 from Greenwell Springs Road to La. 1019.
Construction on the $19.9 million project will last until fall 2012. The contractor is L & A Contracting Co. of Hattiesburg, Miss.

For questions or to sign up to receive periodic e-mail updates about the project, contact DOTD’s Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683) or by e-mail at dotdcs@la.gov. The center is open 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Learn more about the job by visiting the project’s Web page at www.dotd.la.gov. Click on “Projects” from the “Programs & Projects” section of the main menu on the left-hand side of the page and select the “La. 64 Magnolia Bridge Replacement” link.

You can also follow the La. 64 Magnolia Bridge Replacement Project on Facebook. Once you open a Facebook account, project information can be accessed by entering "Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development" or "La. 64 Magnolia Bridge Replacement Project" into the search field.

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