Louisiana Demonstration Project: A Project to Improve Safety and Speed Construction on LA 511 (70th Street) in Shreveport
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Louisiana Demonstration Project: A Project to Improve Safety and Speed Construction on LA 511 (70th Street) in Shreveport

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  • Alternative Title:
    A Project to Improve Safety and Speed Construction on LA 511 (70th Street) in Shreveport
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  • Abstract:
    As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) was awarded a $1 million grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative technologies for A + B bidding and the use of open-graded friction course (OGFC) for improving facility safety. This report documents the background of the project, the construction activities, and the economic analysis. The project undertaken by the DOTD involved the following innovative technologies: (1) the use of asphalt treated base (ATB) material to speed construction and improve stability of the paving platform, (2) the use of an OGFC to enhance safety by way of improved friction and reduction of spray while providing a smooth, quiet riding surface, (3) the use of precast gravity retaining walls to speed construction and minimize impact on adjoining right-of-way, (4) the use of a pan/tilt/zoom camera to monitor traffic during construction, and (5) contractor incentives for smoothness of the riding surface and early project completion. The experience gained on this project was extremely valuable to the DOTD. The use of innovative technologies provided several insights in the areas traffic management and construction techniques that will be useful in future implementations. Construction costs for the project totaled about $5.3 million. The DOTD realized an initial capital cost increase of about $350,254 from the use of ATB (+$126,344), OGFC (+$273,030), and gravity retaining walls (-$49,120). While not direct savings to the agency, there were significant short-term and long-term savings to the public. The savings in construction time was estimated to save about $150,000 in user costs. The savings assumed from reduced work zone crashes accounts for an additional $85,000. If these are included in the analysis, the initial cost differential is reduced to about $115,000. If the safety benefit associated with the OGFC is realized for a 3-year period, an additional savings of about $680,000 could be realized, far offsetting the initial construction cost differential.
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