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BR Health District breaks ground for new roadway extension

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BATON ROUGE - Area leaders gathered Wednesday for the groundbreaking ceremony of the first stages in the Dijon Extension Project.

"This is a huge project, in terms of connecting citizens to vital service of health care," Shawn Wilson of DOTD said. "It's not necessarily for one hospital, it's connecting the entire district both in terms of access for vehicles, patients, and professionals."

The project involves extending Dijon Drive from Essen Lane to Bluebonnet Boulevard. The work will be broken down into two phases, and turn two lanes into four; this will hopefully make traffic in the area less of a burden.

"More importantly, it's going to help connectivity through Essen and I-10, and move the thousands of people that travel through this district on a regular basis. Traffic is a major part of what we do, particularly when you are in the shadows of the interstate," Wilson added.

Not only will the project impact traffic, but people as well.

"People will come to this area for access for their health care," said the Health District's Executive Director, Suzy Sonnier.

The first phase will begin at Essen Lane and then conclude several miles past the new Our lady of the Lake Children's Hospital.

And that's not all - BREC has implemented a health loop which will extend around ten medical facilities. This will allow anyone from hospital residents, visitors, and citizens to partake in outdoor activities.

"They're going to be about seven miles of connectivity, recreational, bicycle, hiking, walking and running," said Wilson.

"It really provides great access from people all over this area to get high-quality health care for their families and themselves," Sonnier added.

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