DOTD to begin I-12 widening project in February
Monday, December 22, 2008 at 1:06:56 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary William D. Ankner on Monday signed a $100 million design-build contract with a construction/engineering team to widen parts of Interstate 12 from four lanes to six lanes before Thanksgiving 2011.


The project, which will begin construction in February 2009, is 100 percent funded from surplus state funds that were awarded by Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature this year.


The team, which was chosen through a competitive process, includes James Construction Group, Boh Bros Construction Co., Evans-Graves Engineering, Volkert & Associates and GOTECH Inc.


Highlights of the project include:


  • Widening the eastbound interstate from two lanes to three lanes with 12-foot shoulders from O’Neal Lane in Baton Rouge to just east of Range Avenue in Denham Springs.


  • Widening the westbound interstate from two lanes to three lanes with 12-foot shoulders from just west of Range Avenue in Denham Springs to O’Neal Lane.


  • Two new side-by-side bridges over the Amite River featuring three lanes each and 12-foot shoulders.


Because the engineering/construction team takes on the design responsibility under a design-build project, construction can begin much sooner than it would under the more typical design-bid-build-project. A design-build project allows a construction/engineering team to design and build the project under general guidelines from the state. Most projects are bid under a design-bid-build model, in which DOTD or its consultant designs a project that is let to bid to a construction company.


“This department did what it said it would do; we have awarded the contract and will issue a notice to proceed on the I-12 widening before the end of this calendar year,” Ankner said.


Lane closures will be limited to off-peak hours during the duration of the project. The plan specifications call for all traffic to be shifted from the eastbound lanes to four westbound lanes in 2010. All traffic would then be shifted into the eastbound lanes in 2011.


DOTD will keep drivers informed of real-time traffic situations through a comprehensive traffic management system, which will include traffic cameras so drivers can check conditions before beginning their trips, variable message board signs for real-time traffic conditions and reports through television and radio broadcasts. Motorist Assistance Patrol vans also will patrol the construction area to help stranded drivers.


“We will have major construction under way on I-12, on I-10 and on the U.S. 190 Amite River Bridge,” Ankner said. “Keeping the public informed is one of our top priorities.”