Crews in first phase of 5-step interstate widening project
EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH - Since announcing the now $1.2 billion project in 2018, progress on widening I-10 from 415 to the 10/12 split will be visible soon.
"I would suspect you will see shovels in the ground in the next month, month and a half," Sec. Shawn Wilson said at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.
The first step of the five-phase project, relocating underground utilities, will take about a year. Actual construction won't start until 2023.
Earlier this month, the DOTD announced it was extending the widening to include the Acadian Thruway interchange.
"By extending this to the other side of Acadian, it does a number of critical factors that we believe are important. It takes the project down from eight-plus years down to four-plus years in terms of the length of construction for that segment."
But it's two years from now when the major work begins and could bring major headaches.
"In 2024, we will begin lane restriction. It is going to be a challenge for citizens to matriculate for a couple of months before they learn what it is. But that is the impact of saving time and money and providing certainty to citizens where you will have two lanes in each direction for about 14 months."
To ease that 14 month period where lanes will be restricted, Wilson says he plans to work with big delivery companies like Amazon to adjust their schedules and work on signal timings on alternate routes that will be provided when we get closer to the project.
Already in progress, the $52 million College Drive flyover is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
"We've modeled it. We've seen how it works. We know it will work, and it will be safer than what we have today."
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