Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Drivers in West Baton Rouge get closer look at I-10 widening project

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Port Allen - Dozens of drivers on the Westside got a look at the state's plans to widen I-10 from LA 415 to Essen Lane Monday night. 

"I'm very impressed with it," John Gomez of Port Allen said. "It looks like a project that will work, as long as we don't get a bunch of hiccups along the way that'll stop it."

Gomez says living in West Baton Rouge he knows how bad congestion can get.

"Too much traffic, not enough ways to maneuver around," Gomez said.

While the project is still in the planning and environmental phase when all is said and done I-10 will have an additional lane of travel in both directions from LA 415 to Essen Lane, a roughly 10-mile stretch.

"I think the average daily traffic that it was designed for was 80,000 and we're almost double that in some areas right now," DOTD spokesman, Rodney Mallet, said.

With several spots prone to backups during the drive from Port Allen into Baton Rouge, those on the Westside say they feel neglected. 

"Well I would say the state is decades behind for West Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes as far as infrastructure to roads and bridges," Tommy Zito said.

After seeing the plans, Gomez is optimistic about the project, but remains cautious. 

The fact that we've gotten this far and we actually have a real plan with real-world results ahead of us," Gomez said. "I think for the first time we have something to look forward to."

DOTD says 28 homes, some of which are historic, and 5 businesses lie in the path of the widening project. The design process is expected to begin next year.


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