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DOTD tears down houses in preparation for I-10 widening

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BATON ROUGE - Plans to widen I-10 are in the works, but that can't happen until some properties are torn down. Some of that work began today: crews are clearing the way, one house at a time.

Crews picked up debris from a torn-down home on East Washington street all day Tuesday. They say they will be finished with that house by the end of this week, then they have a few more to do.

"We've done four so far, and we're on our way to start three more, then there will be two more after that," Rodney Mallet with DOTD said Tuesday.

Since 2020, the state has spent more than $2.5 million to purchase the properties and relocate the owners.

"We knew that there were some parcels that we were just going to have to buy right away because they were so close to our right of way. So we did those early on," Mallet said.

Officials say they've already torn down four homes since the early stages of the project. Nine houses will ultimately be demolished in this stage as crews work to make room for eight lanes of the widened interstate.

The state still has to buy more properties. How many or where won't be clear for a couple more months until the final maps are drawn as traffic engineers work to try to figure out a way to stop the congestion in the capital city.

"We do not know at this moment if there is going to be more demolitions or where they are going to be," Mallet said.

Crews say it takes about a week per home. Construction on the interstate is set to begin in 2023, earlier than planned.

Read more about the widening project here.

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