In the News

Congressman Mike Johnson speaks to North Bossier Lunch Group

Bossier Press Tribune: Stacey Tinsley

The North Bossier Lunch Group met for its monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 30 at the Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning. U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA-04) was the guest speaker for the meeting. Congressman Johnson discussed upcoming projects that will soon be taking place here in Bossier Parish and a brief overview of what will soon be taking place in Washington.

Referring to the I-220/I-20 Barksdale Air Force Base Interchange Access Project, Johnson stated “Yes, it’s on track, it’s on schedule. We’re going to get it done. They are saying the completion is December 2025. I’ve talked to former President Trump about it, President Biden, the active secretary of the Air Force, the current secretary of the Air Force, I’ve met with the Pentagon multiple times. And, they have assured me that this is the timeline for a military construction project of this scope,” Johnson said.

On May 15, 2019, Governor John Bel Edwards (joined by former Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. and numerous state and local officials) participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-220/I-20 Barksdale Air Force Base Interchange Project in Bossier City. The $71.8 million project will create a new access road into BAFB extending southward from the existing I-20/I-220 interchange. The project was completed in late 2022 with a ribbon cutting ceremony held in February 2023. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Governor John Bel Edwards, former DOTD Secretary Wilson, along with numerous elected officials and community stakeholders. Barksdale Air Force Base is currently moving forward with their plans to build a new base entrance and welcome center, at which time the interchange will be fully opened to traffic.

Regarding the upcoming I-20 repaving project, Johnson said “It’s going to be painful. My phone is going to be ringing off the hook. People are going to be so frustrated by the traffic. The end result, it’s going to be worth it.” The long-awaited project includes a full reconstruction of all lanes of I-20 from just west of LA 3 (Benton Road) near Hamilton Road to LA 782-2 (Industrial Drive). The pavement will be removed down to the roadway sub-base and replaced along this 3.5 mile section of interstate, which services between 62,000 – 86,000 vehicles per day.

The reconstruction will be performed in phases and also includes all on and off-ramps of the five interchanges between Benton Road and Industrial Drive in Bossier City.

Additionally, concrete patching repairs will be conducted on I-20 stretching from Pines Road in Shreveport to I-220 in Bossier City, which is outside of the complete reconstruction area. This work will address other sections of the busy interstate corridor that serves both residents and the thousands of motorists passing through the region on a daily basis. An innovative queue detection system will be implemented for this project, which will provide a real-time advanced warning to motorists that they are approaching construction area congestion and should be prepared to slow down or choose to detour. This type of system is effective in improving safety during construction projects – particularly on an interstate – and for helping to mitigate traffic congestion approaching the work zone.

This project also includes the replacement of the roadway lighting system components along the stretch of I-20 that is being reconstructed in Bossier City. Actual construction work will begin in late 2023, following the contractor’s allotted assembly period. The entire project is anticipated to take approximately two years, with progress dependent on weather conditions and other factors that can impact construction timelines. Construction will take place in phases in order to continue to facilitate traffic flow, however lane closures will be required in both directions of travel for the majority of the project, particularly during the rehabilitation portion.

The North Bossier Lunch Group’s goal is to bring together men and women in the North Bossier community who want to stay informed and want to make a difference in their community. The vision for the luncheon is to help North Bossier business owners, stakeholders, community leaders and community partners network with each other and to discuss the growth, development and business future of North Bossier and Bossier City.