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Central Thruway opens sooner than expected

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CENTRAL - After 17 years of planning and construction the Central Thruway is almost ready for drivers.

Talks of the thruway began in 1997, and work started four years ago. The stretch of highway opens Thursday, three months ealier than planned.

"The city parish started this project and they planned this years ago because they knew this area was going to be growing and they needed to have more ways in and out," said city administrator David Barrow.

Once open, the route will connect Central to I-12 in south Baton Rouge.

"It's really going to give everybody in Central an easier access to I-12. This connects straight to O'Neal to the interstate," Barrow said. "We're thinking it definitely can be some economic development in this corner here."

That's leaving residents eager for new businesses and development.

"I think it's going to help the community. A lot of people will be coming in the community this way," said Anna Davis.

A small stretch of the thruway isn't quite complete. Officials say it will be a few more months before the link from Sullivan Road to Greenwell Springs is complete.

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