Ribbon cutting marks completion for 1st phase of Essen Lane improvements
BATON ROUGE - City-Parish officials and Mayor-President “Kip” Holden were present Thursday morning as a ribbon cutting took place at the Essen Lane/Interstate 10 intersection where a project aimed at easing congestion has reached a major milestone.
The project is part of a larger collaboration between the mayor’s Green Light Plan team and Louisiana DOTD officials, according to the Mayor’s Office.
“Eight months ago, we began work on a project that promised great improvement for the citizens of Baton Rouge and all who live, work and play along the Essen Lane corridor,” said Mayor Holden at today’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “Today, we celebrate the progress our City-Parish has made through the completion of this most important Essen Lane at I-10 Improvement Project, which like all Green Light Plan projects, helps our citizens travel through the parish safely and efficiently.”
The project, which began back in April, features the expansion of the Essen Lane at I-10 intersection with the addition of two turn lanes onto the interstate. The dual turn lanes now provide motorists with two left-turns for southbound and northbound Essen Lane, a spot that has seen significant traffic pileups especially during high volume hours throughout the day. Also, one lane was added to the I-10 eastbound on- and off-ramps and westbound on-ramp. During the construction, improvements to the traffic signals at the intersection were also incorporated. Total cost for this first phase of work was $2.1 million.
The Green Light Plan, a comprehensive plan for improvements to roads and streets authorized by voters in 2005, is funded by a dedicated half-cent sales and use tax with funds gathered applied toward improving traffic conditions of some of East Baton Rouge Parish’s most congested roadways.
While work on the intersection turn lanes was underway, DOTD’s Essen Lane Widening Project continued in tandem, which will widen Essen Lane from a five-lane roadways with a center turn lane to six lanes with a continuous two-lane center turn lane. The Mayor’s Office noted the great collaboration and coordination that took place between the two construction teams.
The Mayor’s Office also acknowledged the coordination that was necessary throughout this phase of the project to minimize lane closures and other construction activities that would impact businesses in the area and motorists attempting to use the heavily traveled stretch of Essen Lane.
Businesses and motorists who frequently use Essen Lane are encouraged to stay up-to-date with lane closures and construction progress as the second phase of the project gets underway by using the MyDOTD website and following DOTD on Facebook and Twitter.