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As I-10 widening project inches closer, more questions voiced at the Capitol

1 month 5 days 13 hours ago Wednesday, August 24 2022 Aug 24, 2022 August 24, 2022 8:21 PM August 24, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Traffic can be unpredictable, but in Baton Rouge, traffic jams are almost a certainty. 

Chokepoints can slow drivers down on the interstate for hours, and that's why DOTD needs to widen I-10. A meeting was held at the Capitol on Wednesday about the project.

Despite a few solid answers, everyone agreed the work needs to be done. The main concern is how many lanes will be shut down, making traffic worse before it can get better.

The most worrying part is when a stretch of the interstate near the Mississippi River Bridge will shrink down to one lane in each direction. 

Some are concerned about how the work will affect emergency response times in case of a wreck. It's something the DOTD has thought about but doesn't have a solution for yet. 

"They're going to maybe utilize motorcycles instead of vehicles to get access to the structures because it's going to be a tight corridor. They are working it out, but it's not completely vetted yet," DOTD representatives said. 

DOTD hopes to ease the traffic in the meantime by encouraging drivers to use different routes and for businesses to be flexible with scheduling. Some believe that won't be enough. 

"We ask you to stop this and look at the alternatives before the economic and quality of life debacle that's getting ready to happen in this community," a public speaker told the legislature. 

She's also worried about how safely people can get out of the city in an emergency.

"Please tell us what we are supposed to do for our safety. It is our constitutional rights as taxpayers to have safe ingress and egress on our interstate, and this is taking that away."

The project is planned to start in 2023 and end in 2027. 

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