James Construction Widening U.S. 167

Staff | September 28, 2010

James Construction Group is nearing completion of the twin 500-foot-long girder-spanned bridges over Cypress Creek just outside Quitman.

James Construction Group is about 50 percent complete with construction of a new section of U.S. 167 in northcentral Louisiana. The new bypass is approximately 6.5 miles long, extending from North Hodge to the point where it ties in with a five-lane highway in Quitman to the north.

"According to the LA DOTD's plans, we are constructing this span of U.S. 167 to the west of the existing two-lane roadway, through a section of wooded area," said Eric Lafitte, project manager for James Construction Group. "This new route is some distance from traffic and enables us to perform construction without inconveniencing the motoring public."

The completed thoroughfare will be a divided four-lane concrete highway with asphalt-paved shoulders. Previously, James Construction Group completed a contract that included only the earthwork and drainage structures for 4 miles of this project. The current contract includes surfacing those first 4 miles, plus performing complete highway construction — from earthwork to paving, plus two new bridges — for the remaining 2.5 miles.

James Construction has its own Johnson-Ross concrete batch plant set up on the project site. "We're going to produce our own concrete," said Lafitte. "We try to do that as much as possible on our jobs to save time and money."

Currently workers are constructing twin 500-foot-long girder-spanned bridges over Cypress Creek, just outside Quitman. Crews are also busy placing concrete for the new roadway.

James has its own Johnson-Ross concrete batch plant set up on the project. "We're going to do our own batching," said Lafitte. "We try to do that as much as we can on our jobs." That is a smart approach considering the amount of concrete work associated with this project.

Twin 500-foot-long girder-spanned bridges have recently been completed over Cypress Creek just outside Quitman. Now the James crews can turn their full attention to the roadway.

About 195,000 square yards of 8-inch-thick concrete pavement will serve as the drive surface for the mainlanes, the crossovers and turn-outs. The subgrade is 8-inch-thick soil cement topped with 4 inches of recycled concrete obtained from their various stockpiles.

At any given time, James Construction Group has about 30 workers on site. Subcontractors have their crews as well. PAC Unlimited is constructing the drainage structures including box culverts. LeMay Group is supplying the erosion control. Diamond B Construction will pave the asphalt shoulders. New Fab is supplying the steel for the bridges. Prestressed girders for the bridges were supplied by F&S Prestressed.

Baton Rouge-based James Construction Group is one of the largest general contractors along the U.S. Gulf Coast and maintains regional offices in Lafayette and Ruston, LA; Belton, TX; and Bartow, FL. These locations allow the company to pursue projects throughout the U.S. Gulf Coast region. James Construction Group also has an Industrial Division and an Infrastructure & Maintenance Division.

A TIMED Program

The 112-mile U.S. 167 TIMED project is widening U.S. 167 from a two-lane to a four-lane highway. The $690-million project is divided into 22 segments, and each segment involves several phases, including strategic planning and design, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, environmental impact studies, and construction. To date, eight segments are complete and 12 segments are under construction. The entire project is detailed at www.timedla.com. The U.S. 167 TIMED project is currently at 59-percent completion according to information on the website. Widening of the entire corridor is scheduled for completion in mid 2010.

Louisiana's TIMED Program is the single largest transportation program in state history. The $4.9-billion program includes 16 specific transportation projects that include four-laning 536 miles of state highways, widening and/or new construction on three major bridges, and improvements to both the Port of New Orleans and Louis Armstrong International Airport, each designed to enhance economic development throughout the state.