Officials hope new roundabout will help alleviate traffic woes in Ascension Parish
ASCENSION PARISH - Economic growth has long been a blessing and a curse for the people of Ascension Parish due to the traffic it creates.
Now, officials are hoping to curb some of those congestion complaints with the opening of a $5.6 million roundabout project.
“This is about economic development. It’s about quality of life. It’s about public safety," Governor John Bel Edwards said, who attended the ribbon-cutting in Sorrento Monday morning.
The project, exactly two years in the making, is now complete and officials are promising big improvements for the parish.
"As you all know oftentimes traffic would back up on I-10. Eastbound in the morning, and back up toward the river in the afternoon. These j-turns are going to greatly mitigate this congestion and increase safety,” Edwards said.
The upgraded intersection of LA 22 to LA 70 is now a multi-lane roundabout with j-turns and sidewalks. Additionally, a traffic signal was installed at the j-turn farthest to the west of LA 22 and the left-turn lane from LA 22 eastbound to the I-10 westbound entrance ramp was extended approximately 400 feet.
Not only is it supposed to mitigate traffic, but it will accommodate any current and new economic development.
“We expect right now 21,000 vehicles a day to travel through this corridor, in the near future we expect to exceed 28000," DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said. "We know that investment creates economic opportunity and we’ve done a tremendous job for the businesses along this corridor.”
A longtime problem in Ascension has been the constant construction of new homes and businesses, but no improvements to the already packed roadways.
“They’re super excited to have this in place because it encourages growth, it encourages economic development. It’s so important to have the infrastructure in place before the development gets there,” Parish President Clint Cointment said.
The governor is saying he’s talked with big industry looking to come to the river, but they were hesitant about easy access to I-10.
“There’s no better place than that river. But they need to be able to get their workers in and out and their goods and products in and out so they need that access to the interstate as well.”
This new roundabout expected to do that.