By Paige Nash
After more than a decade of concerns, discussions and planning, the Louisiana Highway 531 overpass is finally undergoing construction, well really a rebuild.
According to David North, Region 04 director for the Louisiana Department of Transportation (LaDOTD), the current structure will not be included at all in the construction.
“It will be a completely new bridge. I asked the designer if he was going to use any of the structure that is there, and he said no, it will be completely new,” North said.
The existing bridge will remain open while the new overpass is being built. After the project is completed and functional, the old structure will then be removed.
J.B. James Construction, LLC was awarded this contract with an overall cost of $19.3 million. The project includes the installation of two roundabouts to improve traffic flow and safety at the two on and off ramps located at the I-20 Minden/Dubberly exits. It is estimated that this project will take roughly two years to complete, wrapping things up by the Summer of 2025.
The contractor has previously finished the preparation process and has moved on to the utility relocation phase.
“This will be when the utility companies that own any infrastructure within the project limits will need to go in and relocate their lines/pipes, etc. that are located in the median of I-20,” said LaDOTD Public Information Officer Erin Buchanan. “This phase can be somewhat lengthy depending on the number of utility companies involved and how long it takes them to remove their infrastructure. We anticipate completing this phase in approximately mid-May.”
After completion of this phase, the contractor will begin the construction of the new overpass.
LaDOTD will issue a press release alerting motorists of any lane closures via their MyDOTD system. Sign up to stay updated on this project’s progress.