The last fully funded segment of the $622 million I-49 North extension from I-220 in Shreveport to the Arkansas state line was awarded on February 18 by the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development (DOTD).

James Construction Group LLC, Baton Rouge, won a $25.7-million contract to build a 3.4-mile segment of the four-lane interstate from La. Hwy 530 to La. Hwy 170. Work should begin this spring and last until spring 2013.

To date, the Louisiana DOTD has awarded nine contracts valued at $460 million for construction of the I-49 North corridor. Two remaining segments of the corridor–critical to freight transport and emergency evacuation–are currently unfunded.

“We will continue to work with local and state officials on finding innovative ways to fund the remaining two sections of this important roadway,” says DOTD secretary Sherri H. LeBas.

In January, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) announced that he is pursuing legislation in the upcoming session to bond out $7.5 million to invest the estimated $60 million needed to construct the 4.25-mile “Segment J” of I-49 North.

This spring, in addition to beginning work on the recently awarded (“Segment F”), James Construction Group will start construction on the $36.4 million “Segment G” that the contractor won in December. Three contracts on I-49 North are already complete, and six are under way.