Roadwork continues on Hwy 42 for safer, smoother route after over 6 years of construction
ASCENSION - Over six years and $36.2 million dollars later, the Highway 42 road reconstruction project in Ascension Parish has a completion date in the near future.
The plan is to widen nearly four miles of Hwy 42 from two lanes to four between Airline Highway and North Burnside Avenue. In addition, a 6-foot sidewalk and 10-foot bike and walking path are also in the works.
Phase one began in March of 2014 and included clearing land and installing a new parish sewer system. The first phase rang in at $8.7 million, awarded to Wharten-Smith, Inc.
The second phase began in November of 2017 and included widening the roadway. This leg of the project was awarded to Barber Brothers Contracting Company, LLC for $27.5 million.
After years of delays due to sewer system issues, flooding, utility relocation, tropical weather, and COVID-19, the road project is finally on its way to completion.
Crews are pouring cement and constructing wider roadways for the over 22,000 motorists that travel on the highway each day for a safer, smoother route.
This work is creating traffic congestion, but some are willing to wait despite the five years that have already passed working toward a better Hwy 42.
"Five years this has been going on. I thought it would be done by now but apparently, as you can tell not quite yet," Owner of Lags Auto Sales, Reynold Lagarrigue, said.
Reynold owns and operates a business located right in the middle of the ongoing roadwork. He says construction has complicated things for his customers.
"The problem is I got to go all the way down to Les Chenier to turn to come here," Lagarrigue said.
The project was set to wrap up in October, but those many roadblocks pushed that date back.
The contractor had a hard time keeping workers on the job and finding others to make up for the delay.
The construction caused stress on workers, drivers, and business owners with brick and mortar stores along the highway. Reynold says his customers had a tough time getting to and from Lags Auto Sales.
"They couldn't get to us at one time. They had this street behind you blocked off and they were doing that, putting drains in and everything. So, it hurt for a while," Lagarrigue said.
But officials are hopeful that all four lanes will be open before the end of the year.
Without any further unexpected delays, the entire project is expected to be completed by March of 2021.
For more stories related to road closures, traffic updates, and roadwork progress throughout the capital area, click here.