It's been a wild ride for those who are focused on the Buddy Ellis Road work, which includes widening, overlay, and subsurface drainage.
At first, it appeared that the state-funded work (with a local match) would begin at the same time as Dunn Road and Forrest Delatte. However, discussions among local and state officials pushed Delatte work to begin after Buddy Ellis was complete.
But, much like Dunn Road, Buddy Ellis has faced a fair amount of trouble getting started - mostly due to utility relocation.
Chad Bacas, an engineer with Forte and Tablada, shared an update with District 6 Councilman Gerald McMorris recently by e-mail. The communication with McMorris shows the aforementioned widening, overlay, and subsurface drainage, but also discusses a replacement bridge for an existing timber bridge.
The bridgework will kick off the project itself, but not until AT&T is finished with their utility relocation. The initial project was given the 'green light' on Oct. 1 of 2019, and AT&T has six months to relocate their lines, at which point the actual construction will commence with crews having four months to replace the bridge, and 155 days to complete the widening, overlay, and subsurface drainage.
You can read the full correspondence below.
Buddy Ellis Road Improvements, State Project H.011825, is currently underway. The purpose of the project is to repair and improve Buddy Ellis Road from its junction with LA 1026 (Juban Road) to its junction with LA 447 (Walker South). This project addresses roadway deficiencies and provides a shoulder along the roadway for areas where there is not one. This project includes pavement reconstruction and widening of the two-lane road, which will result in lane widths of approximately 10-feet with a minimum 1-foot shoulder for each lane. Planned work also includes asphalt overlay of the road and closed drainage systems, where necessary, to support higher traffic volumes and lateral support of the pavement. The existing timber bridge will also be replaced with a concrete slab span bridge.
The Notice to Proceed, which began the assembly period, was issued to the contractor by the Parish, effective 10/1/2019. Currently, the utilities in conflict along Buddy Ellis Road are being relocated by AT&T, and there are 180-calendar-days allocated for this relocation. There are 275-working-days for the Buddy Ellis Road Improvements project (which will start after the 180 days for AT&T), of which 120-working-days are allocated for the bridge work. The contractor will complete the bridge replacement first and is currently in the submittal stage for this work. Construction on the bridge will begin in the next few weeks. Once the utility relocations are complete, the contractor will be able to move forward with the roadwork and drainage portion of the project.