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Mother who lost family in crash, ready for LA 42 expansion

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PRAIRIEVILLE - One mother has fought for over two decades to get a dangerous stretch of road in Ascension Parish fixed. On Thursday, she said she's finally won. 

Twenty-three years ago, Loretta Templet lost her daughter, 13-year-old nephew and his friend in an accident on Highway 42. Since then, she's spearheaded the effort to expand roadway. 

"I didn't want anyone to go through what I went through or my sister," Templet said.

The mother who has fought for this road construction for decades will get to be the first person to break up a piece of the highway, a moment she can barely wait for.

The Department of Transportation and Development's $27.48 million project to widen 3.7 miles of Highway 42. The road will expand from two to four lanes between Airline Highway and North Burnside Avenue. Additionally, a six-foot sidewalk will be constructed on the north side of the roadway, along with a 10-foot bicycle/pedestrian shared use path on the south side.

The groundbreaking will be held off of Highway 42 Thursday morning, coincidentally, at the same church Templet was at when she got the heart-wrenching news of the car accident.

"It's just gonna be a day I can stand in the same spot when I got the news of her death but it will be a happy day because I'll finally get the news that the road's gonna be fixed," Templet said.

She says that groundbreaking will make everything worth it.

"It's going to bring so much joy to me to know that this fight has finally come to an end, that Mandy's and Brett's deaths weren't in vain," Templet said.

The groundbreaking begins at 11 a.m. at Istrouma Baptist Church Ascension Campus in Prairieville.

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