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Some concerned about lane closures during I-10 widening project as construction start date inches closer

1 year 7 months 19 minutes ago Monday, October 24 2022 Oct 24, 2022 October 24, 2022 10:30 PM October 24, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Many filled the Goodwood Library Monday night and they were not afraid to show their opposition to the I-10 Widening Project. 

"This is just a nightmare waiting to happen," said someone at the meeting. 

Traffic is always an issue in Baton Rouge and DOTD says the Widening Project will help fix that problem, but before it can get better it will likely mean sitting in more standstill traffic when lanes are reduced. 

Sinclair Dameron says he is worried about how bad the traffic will be when that happens. 

"Traffic is a real problem now. If it narrows down to one or two lanes in each direction, it's going to be unworkable," Dameron said. 

Drivers will see lanes reduced in early 2024. DOTD says at the end of the project there will be four lanes in each direction, which should happen in 2027. 

Christopher Alexander with the Louisiana Citizen Advocacy Group says the added traffic during construction could hurt people financially in Baton Rouge. 

"What affect is this going to have on the economy in and around Baton Rouge?" Alexander asked. 

Alexander also is concerned how people will be able to evacuate during a major hurricane with limited lanes on the interstate. 

"What are they going to do when a Category 5 hurricane is heading towards Baton Rouge and we have hundreds of thousands of people trying to get out of New Orleans with one lane in each direction," Alexander said. 

DOTD had admitted traffic will be bad for the 14 months when lanes are reduced, but they say the final product will be worth the extra drive time. 

However, Alexander says he has questions about the project that he wants answered. 

"What is this going to do to our quality of life? People's businesses and livelihoods? People's safety?"

Construction for the project is expected to start in 2023. 

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