LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The new Kaliste Saloom bridge crosses the Isaac Verot Coulee, which has already been realigned and protected from erosion.
Lafayette Consolidated Government Project Manager Mark Lavergne gave us an up close look at the work. He said the project is about 35 percent complete.
“Once you get on site and stand next to some of these things you see the true sense of scale of it and the things that are being accomplished out here by the contractors is just pretty remarkable,” Lavergne said.
He said bad weather has caused severe delays. To try and make up some time, the contractor brought in another supervisor and additional work crew.
The crews have already installed 16 concrete girders on the bridge. Eight more will go over the coulee. The final eight will be on the section of bridge closer to E. Broussard Road. Once all of the girders are installed, the bridge deck can be installed.
The bridge is for the new section of Kaliste Saloom being constructed from the Grand Pointe Apartments to Cue Road.
The existing end of Kaliste Saloom will be for right turns onto E. Broussard and the traffic light will be removed.
The realigned section of Kaliste Saloom Road will continue south past E. Broussard and tie into Cue Road. Crews have done drainage work and moved dirt to form the shape of the new road.
The work south of E. Broussard and the bridge work is being done at the same time.
The roundabout at Kaliste Saloom and E. Broussard will be built last.
“This is the largest construction project I’ve been involved in,” Lavergne explained. “It’s a source of personal pride to be involved in something like this, the magnitude of this project, it’s essentially comparable to the Camellia Crossing of the Vermilion River.”
The second phase of the project is to widen Kaliste Saloom to five lanes from Ambassador Caffery Parkway to the Grand Pointe Apartments.
LCG Public Works Director Mark Dubroc said 20,000 vehicles a day use that part of Kaliste Saloom.
“It really is, to some degree, the only corridor between Verot (School Road) and Johnston Street to get traffic from the Milton area and points south,” Dubroc said.
LCG hopes to have the roundabout work done by early 2020 but the bad weather may push the date back.
The widening of Kaliste Saloom Road will cost around $16 million. LCG is waiting for a bond sale before that project can go out for bid.