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Officials confident Government Street 'road diet' to wrap up in 2020

11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Monday, September 30 2019 Sep 30, 2019 September 30, 2019 9:00 PM September 30, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - If you drive along Government Street, you'll have to continue dealing with orange cones and construction equipment until the summer of 2020. That's the latest target date for the 'road diet' project to be completed, according to DOTD.

Construction started in February 2018 and workers have hit a few snags along the way that have delayed the project.

"When we started we had a lot of issues with a lot of underground utilities, stuff that wasn't marked," DOTD spokesman, Rodney Mallet, said. "Stuff that surprised us, was not supposed to be there but was." 

The year and a half of work has frustrated some residents and business owners along the busy corridor. However, some don't have those complaints.

"My sales went up 10 percent," Gordon Mese of Garden District Barbeque said.

There have been cones in front of Mese's shop, that sells out regularly, for the majority of the last year. He says the growing pains associated with construction will pay off.

"We can either have a beat-up street, which we've had for almost 40 years," Mese said. "Or we can go through this and then end up with something that will be nice and new."

Right now crews are still laying asphalt and working on curbs and driveways. The biggest remaining item to tackle will be a roundabout at the intersection of Government and Lobdell. Work there is expected to start in November. 

"It's not gonna take near as long as some of the others we've had to do," Mallet said. "We're not gonna have to buy right of way, we're not gonna have to do any of that."

When done, Government Street will be reduced from four lanes to three. There will be one travel lane in each direction with a two-way-left-turn-lane in the middle.

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