Crews start to clear the way for construction on the new College Drive flyover
BATON ROUGE- The first signs of construction on the College Drive flyover ramp is underway.
Crews cut down and hauled away dozens of trees from the 10-12 split Wednesday morning.
It's all part of the plan to increase the number of lanes on the interstate and build a flyover ramp to College Drive.
"Over that whole area of the 10-12 split , we have around 400 trees that we've been taking care of for 20 plus years," said Sage Foley, Executive Director of Baton Rouge Green.
She admits this project is needed, but it comes with a bit of pain.
Nearly 260 trees need to be cut down to do the work.
"We knew it was going to have an effect. We didn't think it was going to be this bad," said Foley.
It's why the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development teamed up with Baton Rouge Green to plant two new trees for each one that's removed in the process.
That means hundreds of new trees will eventually line the road near the 10-12 split.
"We try to let everybody know that we're going to remove the trees, but we're also going to replace them. We're working with the experts to replace them in a professional manner," said Rodney Mallett, spokesperson with DOTD.
Foley says the trees are planted for more than just beautification.
They're needed to combat pollution and flooding.
"They prevent the runoff of about a million gallons of storm water each year. That's runoff from flooding that doesn't hit our building infrastructure because those trees are there," said Foley.
This portion of the project is expected to cost 52 million dollars alone, and is on track to be complete by the end of 2022.
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