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Gov. Edwards, Local Leaders Break Ground on I-20/I-220 BAFB Interchange Project

BOSSIER CITY, LA — Gov. John Bel Edwards recently joined the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. and local and state leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the I-20/I-220 Barksdale Air Force Base (BAFB) Interchange project in Bossier City. The $71.8-million project will create a new access road into BAFB extending southward from the existing I-20/I-220 interchange.

“This particular project has been many years in the making, and we stand here today with all of the pieces having fallen into place through the perseverance of a team set on seeing this project come to fruition,” Edwards said. “Barksdale Air Force Base has been in this community for nearly 90 years, a pillar of both the nation’s security and the local and state economy. I couldn’t be more proud to celebrate this project today.”

The new road and gate will take into account projected population growth and increased traffic counts, serve to enhance security and will alleviate traffic congestion. It will also improve access times for Barksdale employees and their families, providing easier commutes to schools and other local attractions.

The project has been a part of the state’s Transportation Master Plan for many years, and until recently, had no environmental clearance or funding source identified.

Following the January 2018 announcement of the state’s intention to utilize Grant Anticipation Revenue bonds for the first time, the interchange project progressed at a rate not often experienced in the project development process. Over the course of a year and a half, seven phases in the process of moving this project from funding identification to contract signing were completed.

James Construction Group, LLC was identified on February 5, 2019 as the successful proposer, with a notice to proceed issued on April 24, 2019 marking the official start of the project. Funding commitments have been made by the City of Bossier, Bossier Parish and local Metropolitan Planning Organization as well as public support from economic development groups in the region.

“The Barksdale/I-220 entrance project enhances base security, improves access for personnel, and readies the base for future mission growth,” said Col. Michael Miller, 2nd Bomb Wing Commander, BAFB. “We’d like to thank our community and state partners who made this project happen on such a rapid timeline.”

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