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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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BATON ROUGE- Conceptual drawings presented Wednesday show where state transportation officials hope to build a new Washington Street exit near Interstate 10. The proposed exit would actually begin on I-110 south just after the Government Street exit and end on Terrace Avenue a few blocks short of Washington Street.

Even with the new exit, I-10 east would still shrink to one lane as the existing exit will remain open. But officials say the new exit will reduce bottlenecking created when drivers merge from I-110 south onto I-10 east and then immediately cross several lanes of traffic to reach the existing exit.

"We tell people this will not eliminate the congestion on I-10," said Shawn Wilson, Louisiana's Transportation Secretary. "But it will ease drivers' anticipation of what happens at that merge point," he added.

Wilson has said building a new exit is important for a much larger project, widening I-10 between the new bridge and the split. However, the state is still years away from any specific plans related to the widening.

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