Contracting Method Moves Forward For Belle Chasse Bridge And Tunnel Replacement Project
BELLE CHASSE- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson has announced plans to move forward with soliciting a potential public private partnership (P3) for the Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel replacement project.
This will be the first project on which DOTD will use this unique contracting method to deliver infrastructure to the traveling public.
“There has been an outcry from the public for long overdue projects like this and we are working to find innovative means to deliver,” said Wilson. “This project, as well as others, would have been funded under the gas tax proposal that the legislature did not pass last year. Recognizing that not moving forward is unacceptable, innovative funding mechanisms such as public private partnerships using tolls as match and federal discretionary funding opportunities will play a role in our future development.”
With the governor’s support, DOTD received approval of the Louisiana Joint Transportation Committee to utilize the P3 contracting process to negotiate a cooperative arrangement with the private sector. The recommendation to advertise and solicit a P3 was approved mid-December 2017.
DOTD began the process by issuing a Notice of Intent (NOI) seeking interested private companies and investors to submit letters of interest in participating in the proposal process. The NOI can be viewed on DOTD’s website. DOTD remains committed to ensuring the public is informed and involved, and that local needs are given priority in this process.
Because a separate environmental process required by law is culminating in December 2018, the final project details are not available at this time. The need for the project is to replace outdated, unreliable, and inefficient infrastructure. The proposed project may include a new mid-level fixed-span bridge to replace the existing moveable bridge and tunnel.
All interested parties are encouraged to review DOTD’s project guidelines and submit letters of interest.