Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) awarded the rehabilitation project for the road between La. Hwy 1 and La. Hwy 6 (see map on page 2A) March 10. The work includes roadway grading, drainage structures, milling, pavement patching and overlay, and repairs to the roadway base.
Low bid was $3,595,727.47 for the 3.3 mile project. DOTD public information officer Erin Buchanan explained the process and timeline for projects. She said once a project goes to bid, it takes about 30 days to execute and officially award the contract once the apparent low bidder is identified (which happens the day of letting). About 30 days later, a pre-construction conference is held with DOTD and the contractor to go over details such as work schedule, construction phasing if necessary, anticipated traffic control (lane/road closures), start/end date, etc. At that meeting, the contractor will be given a date for their Notice to Proceed, which starts their assembly period (typically 30 days but they can request an extension).
That’s the time frame allotted to the contractor to prepare for work on the project, gather materials, equipment, personnel, etc. “They can choose to use the whole assembly period or start work during that time,” Buchanan said. Once a project goes to bid, it takes about 90 days or so before construction begins. “Once we have the pre-con, we’ll know when the actual start date for this project is,” Buchanan said. The project consists of 90 working days, which is different from calendar days. A working day project means weekends and holidays aren’t charged against the contractor’s time.
“Once the weekends are removed there are about 21-22 days the contractor will work a month, excluding any holidays and inclement weather days also. I would expect it to be likely sometime in early summer, with a likely late fall/early winter 2021 completion, depending on weather,” she said. DOTD prioritizes construction projects by road/bridge condition, urgency of improvements, type/volume of traffic, crash records, unforeseeable emergencies that caused damage, and several other factors. Seven projects were let statewide March 10. Apparent low bids totalled $17.1 million.