Thanks to all who attended the I-20 Rehab Meeting Wednesday morning at artspace. DoTD Public Information Officer Erin Buchanan Mills briefed attendees on the phases of construction to come, suggested alternate routes of travel, and updated the DoTD’s minority participation process and goals.
One of the most important things to come out of the meeting is the need for local employers and businesses to have contingency plans. The DDA is already seeing traffic-related complications- employees who live in Bossier and drive into Shreveport are facing delays both coming to work and going home. These delays are being seen not only on the interstate but also on alternate secondary routes and are being complicated by trains that are blocking crossings in Bossier City.
To deal with the issues, the DDA is discussing changing the start and end times of employee shifts to help counter traffic congestion-related delays.
Being in the know will also help. You can use this QR code to sign up for DoTD texts that will update you on delays and other construction-related issues. Be aware that there are some confusing steps to the sign-up. It is also much easier to do on a PC/laptop rather than a mobile device.
Upcoming construction on Interstate 20 will affect downtown Shreveport and other parts of our cities in a variety of ways – from making it a harder commute for employees and customers to affecting business operations and tourist traffic.
It is definitely a catch-22. While no one wants the inconvenience and delays of road construction, we can all agree that this has been needed for a very long time. The challenge will be dealing with it.
The major I-20 rehabilitation project that will affect traffic through Shreveport and Bossier City for 730 days; approximately 2.5 years.
JB James Construction Company LLC has been awarded the $117+ million dollar state contract that will include a TOTAL to-the-ground rebuild of the interstate on both the east- and westbound lanes from Hamilton Road to Industrial Drive in Bossier City, as well as significant pavement patching on the Shreveport side from Pines Road to Market Street and in Bossier City from Industrial Drive to I-220.
Phase 1 includes shutting down the right hand lanes in both the east and west-bound lanes in Bossier City from Hamilton Road to Industrial Drive in Bossier City to construct a driving lane using the shoulders of the interstate. This ‘shoulder lane’ will be the primary means of travel for motorists for much of the next 2.5 years. This phase is estimated to take about two months to complete.
By Phase 2, the left lanes will be closed for work and concrete barriers will be installed. This should take ten months.
In Phase 3, the right lanes and shoulders will be closed for reconstruction and several major Bossier interchanges will be involved- Barksdale Boulevard, Old Minden Road, Airline Drive and Industrial Drive interchanges. Expect this to take about a year.
How Will Drivers Know What Is Going On?
The state has put together a pretty beefy Traffic Management Plan, the gist of which is to encourage motorists to take the I-220 loop.
For those who cannot, there will be a traffic-activated system of electronic message boards to alert motorists to traffic stoppages or to encourage them to find other routes.
There will also be traffic updates available through email, the DOTD website and DOTD social media.
What About Delays?
Delays are not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. We already experience significant delays when there are crashes and all lanes of the interstate are open. Alternate Routes – such as Highway 80/Texas Avenue and Street through Downtown- could definitely be affected when there are stoppages on the Interstate.
Shreveport in general will be affected when eastbound and westbound traffic encounters backups from stoppages in Bossier City.
How Do I Prepare for My Business/Employees/Customers? Download PDF file here.