NEW: I-10 widening contractors plan to work 24/7 when possible
BATON ROUGE – Contractors hired to do work on expanding I-10 through Baton Rouge will work 24-hour shifts when possible, the Department of Transportation and Development said Wednesday.
There could be factors that prohibit overnight, continuous work – safety and noise – but the state said in areas where work can go on round the clock, crews should do so.
“Contractors will work 24/7 when applicable,” DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet said Wednesday.
Mallet and his state team are on the warning train, two years before arguably the largest infrastructure project in Baton Rouge history takes shape: Adding an extra lane on I-10 in either direction but only after closing eastbound I-10 and squeezing all traffic into single-lanes of directional travel for a year.
WBRZ.com first reported the new conundrum Tuesday: Engineers are being forced to shuffle both directions of traffic into the current I-10 West flyover above Expressway Park. Currently, the two-lane flyover moves traffic on I-10 W past the I-110 entrance toward the New Bridge. Once constriction begins, traffic in both directions will be forced to share the flyover, creating just one lane in each direction for about 3,000 feet between the Louise Street exit and the approach of the bridge over the Mississippi River.
“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,” DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said Monday.
“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,” he said.
Tuesday, WBRZ reported an effort by the state to work with the trucking industry to change route schedules during the project.
Watch WBRZ newscasts Wednesday for more in-depth coverage on the construction project and its impacts on traffic. Stream WBRZ newscasts here.
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