SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A new toll bridge is set to be constructed that will connect south Caddo and Bossier Parishes.

Attorney William Bradford spoke about the project to the Shreveport City Council on Tuesday. Bradford is representing the Alabama-based infrastructure company, Tim James Inc., that will construct a toll bridge across the Red River south of 3132 and connect to Highway 71.

The goal of the bridge project is to provide better access to the port of Caddo-Bossier.

The toll bridge is privately funded, so no city or parish dollars will be used. Tim James Inc. is paying to build the bridge and maintain eight miles of new roadway for its lifetime, so the bridge will charge a toll to recoup costs.

The company entered into a 15-year cooperative endeavor agreement with Caddo and Bossier Parishes, the end goal being economic development.

“Those areas will see an influx in development because you are connecting two of the faster growing economic corridors in our region, as well as shortening the headway by approximately 25 minutes,” Bradford said.

The company previously met with the nearby subdivisions of Twelve Oaks and Esplanade to get homeowners’ support. The next step is an environmental study by the Army Corp of Engineers. The bridge should begin construction in 2024.

The bridge is in councilman Grayson Boucher’s district, who said he supports it.

Toll fees will be determined but should be around $2.00 for regular cars.

Also during the city council meeting, a vote was postponed that regarded the Office of Economic Development.

Mayor Tom Arceneaux asked the council to postpone their vote on the 2023 Riverfront Development Fund budget to allow his administration further review of the economic development position. The money comes out of that fund.

Arceneaux’s administration moved to disband the economic development office under the city government to focus on private investments instead. However, the issue is not favored by every council member, but they voted to postpone.