BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A $60 million federal grant will go a long way to improve conditions for commuters in the Capital and Acadiana regions.
Congressman Garret Graves made the announcement Tuesday. The money will go directly to improvements in the Lafayette-area. However, because state money was already allocated to that project, the excess will now go to fixing a major issue in Baton Rouge.
Officials project that within the next two years drivers will see a major reduction in bottleneck issues caused by the Washington Street exit. They plan to close the existing exit and establish a new left exit. This will eliminate the "only place in the nation where the interstate drops down to one lane."
"We made a commitment to get this bottleneck addressed and are excited that the resources are finally in place to fix this problem. This is a key step to solving some of the worse traffic in the nation," said Graves. "For too long, the people of South Louisiana have had to settle for talk. Today, we are getting action."
The Lafayette project is no less significant. The project focuses on the I-10/I-49 interchange and the Atchafalaya Floodway Bridge and will include replacing pavement that hasn't been touched since 1960 and adding a new lane.