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DOTD signs contract with construction company to build bridges for Comite Diversion Canal project

DOTD signs contract with construction company to build bridges for Comite Diversion Canal project

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has officially entered into a Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) contract with the company the state agency has selected to build three new bridges in East Baton Rouge Parish as part of the Comite River Diversion Canal project.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph. D, signed the CMAR contract Monday, June 29.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced May 26 that DOTD had selected Boh Brothers Construction Co. as its contractor to build the new bridges.

"Construction, as well as maintaining and improving the state's infrastructure, are essential functions and DOTD has continued to move projects forward even during the COVID-19 pandemic," Gov. Edwards said. "These bridges are essential to the successful completion of the Comite River project and will be beneficial to the citizens of Louisiana."

DOTD selected Boh Brothers Construction Co. out of ten other companies that submitted letters of interest earlier in 2020.

"This is the first time DOTD has utilized a contract of this nature to deliver services for a major multi-phased project," said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. "This delivery method reduces the amount of contract time because it allows for the contractor and designer to work together much earlier in the design process. This collaborative process saves the state time and money, allowing for the overall construction of the diversion channel to be completed. With appropriate revenue, we could use this on a multitude of projects we have planned."

Boh Brothers is responsible for the following construction:

  • New bridge structures over the future Comite River Diversion Canal at LA 67 and LA 19
  • A new railroad bridge structure over the future Comite River Diversion Canal at LA 19
  • Temporary at-grade highway bypass roads for LA 67 and LA 19
  • An at-grade shoo-fly for the Geaux Geaux railway on LA 19
  • Utility coordination and, as necessary, relocations
  • Maintenance of traffic
  • Local and business access

The building of these three bridges is just one phase of the $353 million project, which aims to construct a 12-mile diversion channel from the Comite River to the Mississippi River, as well as guide levees, a control structure at Lilly Bayou, and four drop structures at intersection of the diversion canal at McHugh Road, Bayou Baton Rouge, Cypress Bayou, and White Bayou.

Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2021 and be completed by the end of 2021.

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