Hwy 80 West of Minden to Close for Construction
Written by Special to KBEF on March 5, 2020
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces a project to lower US 80 at the I-20 overpass west of Minden in Webster Parish.
The $2.5 million project will lower the height of the roadway approximately 3.5 feet in the westbound direction and four feet in the eastbound direction as it runs under the interstate, achieving a minimum vertical clearance of 17.5 feet.
The underpass is located just west of the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden training facility, and is a haul route frequently used by Minden-based Fibrebond Corporation. Previously, the underpass was too low to accommodate Fibrebond’s specially manufactured loads.
“My administration worked diligently alongside DOTD, Louisiana Economic Development, and other partners to develop solutions to help keep Fibrebond Corp. in Minden, providing vital jobs for the northwest Louisiana area,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I’m pleased that work is getting underway so quickly and that we’ll be seeing progress soon on the project.”
Gov. Edwards and DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson announced in October 2019 plans to expedite multiple projects to strengthen the ability of Fibrebond and other manufacturers to access heavy-haul routes that serve their needs. As part of that commitment, the US 80 bridge over Boone Creek in Dixie Inn was replaced using in-house DOTD resources in half the time originally scheduled.
“DOTD employees in multiple areas worked efficiently to ensure this US 80 lowering project moved from conception to construction expeditiously,” Dr. Wilson said. “We always have been and always will be committed to doing everything in our power to drive economic development, and attract and retain employers across Louisiana.”
“Roadway improvements are another way Louisiana is supporting rural areas in our state,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “This infrastructure investment will provide better accommodation of the unique transportation needs of major manufacturing employers in the region, including Fibrebond. LED, in partnership with DOTD, is focused on keeping the rural areas of our state vibrant. Our roads and bridges are one of those key elements essential to retaining and growing business opportunities in the state.”
The project also includes the installation of drainage structures, roadway barriers, and revetment work.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, the contractor plans to begin lowering the eastbound direction first, which includes the majority of the drainage work. That will require a complete closure of US 80 in the eastbound direction while the work is underway.
A similar closure will be necessary during the lowering of the westbound direction. The alternate route will be I-20.
The entire project is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2020, with progress dependent on weather conditions.