CRISIS releases new traffic study to alleviate BR issues - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

CRISIS releases new traffic study to alleviate BR issues

Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

CRISIS, the Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, released a new study outlining what business and professional leaders believe are the best solutions to alleviating the traffic nightmare in Baton Rouge. 

"With the third worst congestion mid-size city in America and the question is how do you dig yourself out of that," said CRISIS Executive Director Scott Kirkpatrick. 

He said they looked at 18 different projects and compared the cost to the benefits, such as would it actually alleviate traffic and save drivers any time. 

Four specific projects are what Kirkpatrick said they recommend. 

The first is expanding I-10 from the split to the Lobdell exit, or LA 415 as it is known, by one lane in each direction. 

The second includes directing more traffic to the old Mississippi River Bridge and expanding Airline Highway to take on more traffic. 

Another includes building a new bridge somewhere along Iberville Parish and connecting to Nicholson Drive, but that also means a lot more traffic on Nicholson Drive. 

The last is widening I-10 in Ascension Parish. 

"It starts at Highland Rd. adding one lane in each direction out to Sorrento," said Kirkpatrick. 

Kirkpatrick said the cost of just the four recommended projects is more than $2 billion. 

"No, we really don't have $2 billion," said Dept. of Transportation & Development spokesperson Rodney Mallett. 

Mallett said the same ideas are included in their statewide transportation plan, but when public entities such as crisis do these kind of reports, it brings the issue to the forefront. 

He said they're already moving forward to lining up projects like widening the interstate between LA 415 and the split, but before any actual work begins, they legally have to do studies and public meetings. 

"We're moving forward with that study and as we get money, we can operate, we can move forward in stages and get the project moving," said Mallett. 

As for the funding, Mallett said the state as a whole has a $12 billion backlog in construction, repair or maintenance projects. In order to make such large projects in Baton Rouge a reality, he said they need multiple funding sources - local, state and federal - something that simply isn't there right now. 

DOTD does have meetings scheduled for late February in order to present their findings to the public and get the public's input on the I-10 widening. 

  • Monday, February 22 
    6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
    McKinley Middle Magnet School 
    1550 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive 
    Baton Rouge, LA 70802 
  • Tuesday, February 23 
    6 p.m. - 8 p.m.  
    Addis Community Center  
    7520 Highway 1 South  
    Addis, LA 70710 
  • Thursday, February 25 
    6 p.m. - 8 p.m.  
    Baton Rouge Marriott 
    5500 Hilton Avenue 
    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

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