ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - We're one step closer to easing some of the traffic in the metro area.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced Thursday that a contract is signed for the widening of I-10 between Highland Rd. and LA 73 in Ascension Parish.
"I am pleased that Sec. Wilson and his team were able to bring this project to construction in record time," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. "This is a prime example of prioritizing a critical project that has statewide benefits. Until state lawmakers decide to make the necessary investments to help address the needs our crumbling infrastructure, future projects like this one will be severely limited. Those decisions directly impact our citizens who deserve better as well as our economy overall."
Officials say the project should take about two and a half years to complete and they expect work to start early next year.
"We are excited to start this much-needed capacity project," said Sec. Wilson. "I-10 is not only an important route for freight, but it's also a major artery for commuters who use it daily to travel between East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parishes. This is yet another project that highlights the necessity of having a well-funded transportation system and shows this administration's dedication to using innovative means, such as design-build, to fund and construct meaningful projects. However, additional reliable, long-term funding will be needed to complete the expansion of the I-10 corridor or the construction of a new bridge."
The $72 million project is being funded by a combination of federal and state funds, including the use of over $40 million in congressionally authorized repurposed earmarks, which are one-time expenditures. The project was capped at $72 million in an effort to optimize future plans for Highland Road. Improvements to Highland Road are not a component of this project as funds are not yet available.