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DOTD signs design-build contract for U.S. 90 interchange at La. 85

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Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary William D. Ankner recently signed a $24.5 million design-build contract to construct an interchange on U.S. 90 over La. 85 in Iberia Parish.

The project will continue DOTD’s efforts to make U.S. 90 a limited-access highway, bringing more than 75 mi of U.S. 90 to interstate standards.

The project is 100-percent funded by stimulus funds received from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project cost is approximately $7.5 million less than DOTD’s estimated cost of construction.

The design-build team is led by the prime contractor, Gilchrist Construction Co. LLC of Alexandria, La. The remainder of the team consists of ABMB Engineers Inc., AECOM USA Inc., GeoEngineers Inc. and APEX Engineering Corp.

The U.S. 90 Interchange at La. 85 design-build project is the second design-build highway project DOTD has awarded during the current administration.

A design-build project requires a construction/engineering team to design and build a project under general guidelines from the state. Most projects are bid under a design-bid-build model, in which DOTD or a consultant of DOTD designs a project that is let to bid to a construction company.

Because the engineering/construction team takes on the design responsibility under a design-build project, construction is generally less expensive and can begin much sooner than under the more typical design-bid-build project.

A federally sponsored study says design-build projects reduce the cost of construction by an average of 3 percent and the time of construction by 14 percent.

Work on the project will begin in March 2010 and is expected to finish in summer 2011.

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