ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Ascension and Livingston Parish commuters are in for a smoother drive.
The state is widening Highway 42 from Airline Highway to North Burnside Avenue to ease traffic congestion. The project also includes a few improvements along the way.
Business is booming along Highway 42 in Ascension Parish. An estimated 17,000 vehicles travel the main artery every day. Residents have enjoyed the growth. But some, like Earl King, who have lived in the area for 30 years said the extra traffic has really put them in a jam.
"It's rough. It starts out here at six o'clock in the morning and it's bumper to bumper," Kind said.
Paula Sing doesn't live in the area but she said Highway 42 was once part of her daily commute. She said traffic was a nightmare.
"Just the hours spent traveling from Airline back down to Maurepas, if there was a wreck, there were even more delays and it was horrible," Sing said.
Things are about to get better. Billboards and signs along the highway are already coming down. A spokesman for the LaDOTD, Rodney Mallet, said the agency is preparing to break ground on a $30 to $40 million dollar project that includes major improvements.
"The parish is putting in new sewer lines and they're funding that project. It's a two-phased project for the expansion of this area," Mallet said.
Mallet said commuters can expect to see workers begin moving dirt for the new sewer system by the end of February. Part two, he said, includes a sidewalk and bike trails.
"It's going to help development. It's going to help travel time and probably add to the safety in that area too as the area expands," Mallet said.
As with any improvements, there may be some roadblocks ahead. But the setbacks, he said, will no doubt be worth the wait.
Mallet said the project is expected to be finished in two years.