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DOTD warns drivers as the work to widen I-10 begins

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BATON ROUGE- Crews worked quickly Tuesday to clean up a major crash on I-10 that caused heavy delays between Essen and College Drive as the morning rush began.

The crash happened near an active construction site. The speed limit drops from 60 to 50 miles per hour, concrete barriers cut off shoulders in the area, and the DOTD says signs also warn of the new lane shifts.

"We have put up the signs. We have put up the warnings. We have the technology to warn you. But if you're not paying attention and if you're going to drive distracted, fast or impaired, then there's going to be a crash," Rodney Mallett with the Louisiana Department of Transportation said.

The changes come as crews work to revamp the I-10\I-12 split by adding new lanes to the College Drive exit. DOTD says as the work continues, drivers have to be aware of that work or risk causing crashes.

"If you're looking at your phone and you don't see the speed limit change or the lane shift change, then you're going to be in a bad way when you're driving a vehicle," Mallett said.

Once the entire corridor is widened, the DOTD says it should be safer and more efficient for those traveling through.

The College Drive exit project is part of the overall plan to widen the interstate through Baton Rouge. Work on this phase is is expected to cost about $52 million and could be finished by the end of next year.

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