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DOTD: Some road projects may be pushed back due to rising cost of materials, labor

1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, November 30 2022 Nov 30, 2022 November 30, 2022 9:39 PM November 30, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- Traffic is a problem in Baton Rouge, and to fix that, DOTD has proposed many projects to keep drivers moving—but inflation may slow an already lengthy process. 

At the Capitol Wednesday, DOTD told Lawmakers construction costs have increased around 88 percent from inflation. 

"Concrete, steel, labor, fuel costs. Contractors use a lot of fuel in their equipment so that's all having an impact," a spokesman with DOTD said. 

State Representative Richard Nelson said there is no real way to know if these steep prices will go down at some point, or if they will stay the same. 

It's a question DOTD doesn't have the answer to either. 

"We have had a lot of internal discussion about that, and we simply can not predict what is going to happen," a spokesman said. 

Because of that unknown costs, DOTD says some of the projects that would hopefully ease the gridlock on the roads may have to be pushed back. 

"I think we are going to start simply deferring some projects and waiting if the bids come in too high. We are going to put that project on hold and move on to some other projects." 

WBRZ asked Wednesday if these costs could delay the I-10 widening project. 

DOTD replied in this statement below.

"Inflation, supply chain and workforce are all real issues with the I-10 project and other important infrastructure projects as well.  DOTD is committed to making these much-needed improvements to the Baton Rouge community. As we've seen over that last couple of decades, if the issue is not addressed the problem gets worse and the cost increases. Waiting a other 10-20 years would be a costly delay."

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