Extra investment yields big road project for city of Broussard
Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 12:00:00 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. – A $10 million investment will pay big dividends for the city of Broussard - a major road project delivered ahead of schedule at a savings of millions of dollars.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that Broussard’s $10 million in matching funds will expedite the extension of Ambassador Caffery Boulevard from Verot School Road to the Evangeline Thruway (U.S. 90) south of Broussard.

The $10 million comes from the city of Broussard Sales Tax Bond, Series 2007, which was approved by the Louisiana State Bond Commission and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

Broussard was not required to put up a match, but Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais and other city leaders decided to invest local dollars in the project to get it moving quickly.

“This cooperation is a great example of state and local governments working together to save taxpayers money,” DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry said. “I hope other cities and parishes take note of what Broussard has done, because this money also allows DOTD to start and finish the project sooner.”

Because of the strain on DOTD’s current capacity funding, a project of this cost and size normally would have to be bid in multiple phases.  Each phase requires a bid letting process, and there can be multiple years between each bid letting. The longer a project takes to complete, the more susceptible it is to the rising cost of materials and labor.

The addition of the local match allows DOTD to construct the project in one phase. This not only saves time and money but eliminates the risk of different contractors having to connect multiple phases.

“This is an important project for economic and residential development in our area,” said Langlinais. “We want to make sure we are doing all we can to see that this extension is completed as soon as possible.” Mayor Langlinais thanked all the support he received from local leaders: Sen. Mike Michot, District 23; Rep. Jack Smith, District 50; Troy Hebert, District 49; Ernie Alexander, District 43; Don Trahan, District 31; and DOTD District 3 Administrator Bill Fontenot.

“The completion of the Ambassador Caffery Extension will vastly improve the capacity of hurricane evacuation through the Lafayette and Broussard communities,” said Fontenot. “And it will provide additional mobility in a community that is experiencing rapid growth.”

The $43.8-million, 6.5-mile project is a joint effort between DOTD, the city of Broussard and the Federal Highway Administration. The contractor for the project is Gilchrist Construction Co. of Alexandria.