December 1, 2021

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W.O.B. Carriageway Construction Hits Snag; Council Calls Special Meeting to Fire Contractor

2 min read

The Bossier City Council is convening a special-called meeting Monday to discuss issues related to the construction of the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway.

An agenda, released Friday, says the issue is related to the closure of the Shed Road Union Pacific Railroad crossing that is part of the Carriageway project.

The council will introduce an ordinance, sponsored by City Attorney Charles Jacobs, to terminate the contract with NTB Associates, Inc. for cause, and cease any future payments to the contractor.

“NTB Associates, Inc. failed to communicate with [the] City about known issues with [the] project that are now causing major project changes,” the proposed ordinance says.

Construction of the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway is overseen by Manchac Engineering Group’s Ben Rauschenbach, acting as interim city engineer.

Over budget and one City Engineer already fired

The Carriageway project has been mired in budget overruns. The council last voted to allocated an additional $1.2 million to Phase One of the project in July of 2020. That followed a previous injection of $400,000 into the project the previous month.

In January 2020, former City Engineer Mark Hudson told the council that phase one of the WOBC project had already spiraled $12 million over budget.

In May 2020, former City Attorney Jimmy Hall said Hudson had continually misrepresented the progress of the project.

Hall said that city engineer Mark Hudson’s monthly updates presented to the council of when the WOBC project would be completed didn’t accurately reflect the amount of work that had been finished.

David Montgomery Jr

“There were representations made, historically, on a monthly basis that may, or not, have been what actually existed,” council member David Montgomery, Jr., agreed. 

Following continued delays and cost overruns, Manchac Consulting was ultimately given a $2.1 million contract to complete the Carriageway.

Montgomery has been a vocal supporter of Manchac’s involvement in City construction projects.

The traffic loop — which promises a train-free North Bossier commute — was announced in March 2019 with a $55 million budget. However, critics note that the train-free route comes to a complete stop when it dead-ends at Benton Road in the former green space south of the Greenacres Office Park.

W.O.B. Carriageway Construction Hits Snag; Council Calls Special Meeting to Fire Contractor

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