EXCLUSIVE: Industry anxious about Calcasieu future as decision looms

Credit: LaDOT

Industry insiders have told P3 Bulletin that they are expecting Louisiana's flagship P3 project to falter as political changes manifest.

The Joint Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee of the Louisiana Legislature is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 24 to consider whether or not to approve the CBP contract for the Calcasieu Bridge P3.

Industry will be watching these proceedings closely as there are strong indications that members of the Southwest Louisiana delegation, where the bridge is located, and Governor-elect Jeff Landry, are not supportive of the project moving forward as proposed.

Without Landry's backing, it is anticipated that Republican members of the committee, who hold the majority, will not go against the new governor's wishes and as a result will not vote to approve the contract.

Earlier this week, LaDOT’s Secretary Eric Kalivoda formally requested approval to sign the deal with the Plenary-led Calcasieu Bridge Partners, adding that the proposal is only valid until December 3, 2023.

“Failure to act or failure to grant DOTD authority to enter into this public-private partnership…will result in the necessity for a major repair of the existing bridge and its continuation in service for at least another 20 years given the reality of state finances, unprecedented construction inflation, and the compounding infrastructure needs across our state and our nation,” he said. “Shortsightedness oftentimes results in long-term predicaments in which public expectations cannot be satisfied.”