Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that the first segment of the LA 3241 corridor project was let on July 21. Brown Industrial Construction, LLC presented the apparent low bid of $45,964,769.53. This is part of the Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) Program, which began in 1989.
This first segment of the LA 3241 project will construct a new four-lane highway between LA 40/LA 41 and LA 435 in St. Tammany Parish. The second segment is scheduled to let later this year, and the third segment is scheduled to be let in 2023 and is already fully funded. After all segments are complete, the project will ultimately consist of a four-lane highway between LA 40/LA 41 in Bush and Interstate 12.
The LA 3241 project was originally part of the Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) Program, which consisted of 16 projects statewide and began in 1989 when voters approved a 4-cent increase to the gas tax in order to fund Act 16 of the 1989 legislature. The TIMED Program was later accelerated through the sale of bonds. Two of the major projects of the TIMED Program include the John James Audubon Bridge in Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes and the wider, safer Huey P. Long Bridge near New Orleans. The LA 3241 project is the 15th TIMED project to move forward.
“To finally move this long-awaited project is a momentous occasion for the people in St. Tammany Parish,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I’m proud to see Sec. Wilson and DOTD continue to move major projects that have been on the books for years, if not decades. This is an example of what DOTD and the state can do when the resources are available."
"As State Representative of District 75, I am proud of the partnership with my colleagues in the legislature and with Governor Edwards and Secretary Shawn Wilson, to ensure that work on this decades-long awaited project begins, connecting Washington and St Tammany Parish to Interstate 12," said Representative Malinda White. "While I have had to take many hard votes during my time in the legislature, my goal has remained to make the lives of the people of District 75 better. By seeing this TIMED project finally become a reality, we can look for future economic development and growth in the Northshore Region of Louisiana."
“The beginning of the long-awaited LA 3241 project is not only a major milestone for the department, but most importantly for the people of Louisiana,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “This new corridor will provide much-improved access between I-12 and the northeastern ‘toe’ of Louisiana, as well as an additional hurricane evacuation route from the New Orleans and Northshore areas. As we know, infrastructure also creates jobs and sparks economic development. This project is a shining example of Building Back Better, and it also shows Congress and the state legislature what we can achieve when we all work together as one.”
In addition to the DOTD program funding, making use of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program, DOTD was able to access $50 million of the HB 578/Act 443 (2019) funds dedicated to the project earlier rather than later, thus reducing the impacts of inflation.
Construction projects are prioritized by road/bridge condition, urgency of improvements, type/volume of traffic, crash records, unforeseeable emergencies that caused damage, and several other factors.
For more information about these projects, please visit www.dotd.la.gov.