ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WVUE) - Governor John Bel Edwards has announced a $52 million project to further widen Interstate 12.
The money will go towards added improvements for drivers who have voiced concerns over traffic issues for years.
Speaking to commuters this morning, they say changes to I-12 are much needed, citing constant traffic congestion and dangers which became apparent after a wreck last summer that caused the deaths of four people near Covington.
When speaking of that wreck, Louisiana DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson also says some of the money for the project will go towards more motor assistance on the interstate to improve safety for drivers.
The projects will widen several bridges and add and extra lane going both ways.
As the population continues to grow, the St. Tammany portion of I-12 is expected to see about 110,000 cars a day in the coming years.
Edwards says the improvements will also benefit businesses in the area and while a lot of the times resources are constrained, this I-12 project is hopefully just the beginning of several projects that are overdue.
“Safety and efficiency will be improved. As you all know, I-12 is a vital freight corridor as well and principally between Houston and Florida. But the fact of the matter is it goes all the way to Los Angeles, California,” says Edwards. “So, from California to Florida, and in addition to that freight corridor, we know that St. Tammany is continuing to grow and people are moving here which is a great thing and all of these things are putting more demand on the transportation that we have.”
Louisiana DOTD says many of the projects in the area right now are about 30 percent over their time limit due to several weather delays and that this phase two of the I-12 project will likely go out for bid in June of 2020.