Louisiana plans first P3 for Belle Chasse Tunnel and Bridge replacement

March 9, 2018

The public-private partnership would provide the $122 million needed to replace the tunnel and bridge

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) announced plans for the department to move forward with soliciting partners for its very first public-private partnership (P3).

The P3 venture would provide the estimated $122 million required to replace the Belle Chasse Tunnel and Bridge, primary access points for the western section of Plaquemines Parish, as well as for the Naval Air Station.

Currently, the tunnel carries traffic in one direction across the Intracoastal Waterway, while the bridge carries traffic in the other direction. However, the tunnel leaks and is often closed, requiring the bridge to be converted to two-way traffic. The bridge also is old and requires extensive maintenance. The proposed project would replace the tunnel and bridge with a new mid-level, fixed-span bridge, which would carry traffic in both directions, and reduce or eliminate the delays associated with operations and maintenance of the outdated infrastructure.

In mid-December 2017, the Louisiana Joint Transportation Committee, with the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards, approved the use of the P3 contracting process to negotiate a cooperative arrangement with the private sector. On Feb. 20, 2018, the LaDOTD issued a Notice of Intent seeking letters of interest from private companies and investors.


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