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DOTD accepts costly bid on Pecue Lane expansion project; final phase of construction begins this summer

1 year 6 months 1 week ago Thursday, January 05 2023 Jan 5, 2023 January 05, 2023 7:37 PM January 05, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - In recent months, the Pecue Lane expansion project has hit a couple of roadblocks due to inflation.

The project is about two-thirds of the way complete but was stalled after the bid for phase three came back $14 million higher than what LaDOTD budgeted for.

In November, the agency was given 45 days to decide whether they will accept the bid and find extra funding, or delay the project until the next fiscal year. 

We have accepted this bid. It’s a $69 million bid," said Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of LaDOTD.

Phase three, the final phase of the expansion, accounts for interstate entrance and exit ramps, and the widening of Pecue from Perkins Road to Airline Highway, making it the most important and most expensive part of this project. The total cost for all three phases amounts to nearly $100 million. 

Wilson says the reasoning for accepting the bid instead of delaying the project was due to uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy.

Not accepting the project does not in any way guarantee that the price is going to go down," Wilson said. 

So how did LaDOTD scrounge up an extra $14 million? Wilson says the city of Baton Rouge contributed, as well as the state. 

We went back and scrubbed our budget," Wilson said, referring to the state budget.

Construction for phase three will begin summer 2023 and is expected to take about three years to complete, weather permitting.

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