SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Late August is the target to begin the project to replace the 81-year-old Louisiana Highway 1 bridge over Caddo Lake, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

On Monday, the DOTD announced the $18.2 million project will involve building a new bridge and removing the old one near Mooringsport in north Caddo Parish.

The preliminary work will entail clearing and grubbing (removal of trees and other growth) to allow for utility relocation.

In the contract, AEP SWEPCO is allotted 300 days to remove their utilities that are currently within the project’s limits. Construction on the new bridge project itself can’t begin until these electrical utilities have been relocated.

Once utility relocation is complete, work will begin on the construction of the new structure, which will be built next to the old bridge on a slightly adjusted alignment.

That done, the old bridge will be dismantled and hauled off.

To minimize inconvenience to the public, at least one lane on the old bridge will be kept open to at least one direction for as much of the project as possible. Unfortunately, there will be times during construction that will require a full closure of the bridge.

As the project progresses, updates and other notifications will be sent via MyDOTD.

The entire project is anticipated to be complete in Summer 2024, with progress dependent on weather conditions.

The current LA 1 bridge – built in 1940 – services approximately 4,800 vehicles per day, and serves as an important connector between the Towns of Mooringsport and Oil City, as well as points north and south.

The bridge is currently inspected every six months and will continue on that schedule for the duration of the project to ensure the structure remains safe for travel.

The existing bridge is load posted, so this important replacement project will ensure that all types of vehicles are able to cross the new structure for many more years.