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Work Zone Awareness Week kicks off as major projects make progress around Baton Rouge

1 month 1 week 6 days ago Monday, April 15 2024 Apr 15, 2024 April 15, 2024 5:21 PM April 15, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - While construction zones are a common sight throughout most of the capitol area, LaDOTD is reminding drivers to proceed with caution.

The week of April 15 through April 19 is National Work Zone Awareness Week where transportation agencies on all levels highlight the importance of Work zone safety to the motoring public. This year's theme is 'Work zones are temporary, actions behind the wheel can last forever.'

"Construction workers on our roads, our bridges and our highways face some of the toughest working conditions that many of us take for granted," Federal Highway Administration Division Administrator Melinda Roberson said at a press conference Monday.

In 2022, 895 construction workers were killed in work zone crashes, with 10 of those people from Louisiana. Speeding and distracted driving plays a significant role in fatal accidents, according to the FHWA.

There are currently four major road improvement projects making significant progress in Baton Rouge. The Pecue Lane Expansion, I-10 widening, College Flyover and Intracoastal Canal Bridge replacement have been in the works for years. 

DOTD provided updates about where all of those projects currently stand:

Pecue Lane/I-10 Interchange
Currently, the contractor is paving the new southbound Pecue Lane roadway, constructing the new southbound Pecue Lane bridge over Ward’s Creek, grading the new on and off ramps for I-10, and installing new drainage structures along Pecue Lane. The first major traffic switch onto part of the newly paved Pecue Lane roadway is planned to take place in late Q3 of 2024. The project is scheduled to be complete in mid to late Q2 of 2026.

The original construction contract included 900 calendar days at a cost of $69.9 million. Twenty calendar days and $1.3 million have been added through change orders.

LA 1 Intracoastal Bridge
Currently, the contractor is setting the steel girders for the mid-span of the bridge, with the last girders to be placed mid to late Q2 of 2024. After the last steel girders are set, the contractor will finish placing the concrete for bridge deck by late Q3 or early Q4 of 2024 and then will work to start switching traffic onto the new bridge by early Q4 of 2024. The project is scheduled to be completed in late Q4 of 2024 or early Q1 of 2025, depending on weather.

The original construction contract included 300 calendar days at a cost of $57.6 million.

I-10/I-12 College Dr. Flyover Ramp
The new flyover ramp from I-10 to the College Drive exit will eliminate the current weave. I-12 westbound will be relocated south at the split, with an estimated completion date set for January 2025; $52,385,000 was originally awarded for the project.

I-10 Widening

Crews are currently constructing the permanent abutment, wing and retaining walls that will support the permanent bridge structure on the west side of City Park Lake, north of I-10. Excavation work continues in preparation for the construction of the upcoming retaining walls along I-10 near East Lakeshore Drive

Additionally, work continues on the cofferdam cells that will support the City Park Lake bridge foundations. In the coming weeks, pile driving will begin in the cofferdam cells, which will support the footing of the bridge expansion.

Drainage operations are ongoing along East Harrison Street from Virginia Street to Arkansas Street. Crews are installing storm drain pipes and catch basins, which will continue along the project corridor. 

The I-10 Widening and Reconstruction Project is currently in Stage 1, which includes the first phase of permanent widening of the westbound City Park Lake Bridge, local roadway modifications, the Dalrymple eastbound service road and westbound exit ramp, and roadway improvements between the City Park Lake Bridge and Perkins Road. This stage is anticipated to be completed late 2025, weather permitting.

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