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In latest estimate, DOTD says Mississippi River bridge project to cost $2 billion

4 months 2 hours 58 minutes ago Wednesday, February 23 2022 Feb 23, 2022 February 23, 2022 10:45 PM February 23, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The project to construct a new bridge over the Mississippi River is now expected to cost $2 billion, state transportation officials said Wednesday.

The latest price tag for the long-awaited project was unveiled as the Department of Transportation and Development presented its latest budget during a Senate Finance committee hearing.

Construction of a bridge itself would cost $1.2 billion, according to DOTD. Another $800 million would be needed to build connectors to the bridge.

"Building just that bridge is not the answer," Shawn Wilson, DOTD secretary, said last month. "You've got to get from I-10 on the west side to LA 1 to cross the new bridge, and when you get to LA 30, you've got back to I-10 to make it meaningful."

The $1.2 billion price tag for a new bridge appears to be higher than what Wilson estimated last month.

"The bridge itself, from LA 1 to LA 30 is gonna run upwards of $800 [million] to $900 million in today's dollars," Wilson said.

DOTD confirmed Wednesday's $2 billion estimate was in today's dollars if construction began today. Wilson told WBRZ last month that the price will only get higher.

"In four years, or five years, when we let it, you're talking about 2.5% a year for construction inflation," Wilson said. "That doesn't take [into] consideration the spike that we see related to [the] supply chain or the volume of revenue that's pumped into the economy, that's going to cause projects and prices to increase."

Last month, Gov. John Bel Edwards, in his budget, proposed $500 million for construction of a new bridge. 

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