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I-10 widening project comes to College Drive

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BATON ROUGE - The third and final public meeting for the I-10 widening project was held near College Drive at the Marriott Hotel. More than 200 people participated, asking questions and submitting comments.

>>CLICK HERE FOR PROJECT INFORMATION AND RENDERINGS.

The project would add lanes, increase capacity and upgrade interchanges.

In the proposal, the College Drive interchange for westbound drivers would be converted to a frontage road with a flyover exit over the I-10/12 merge.

"It would allow you to get into the exit lane much more safely because currently, you have to merge across several lanes," said project consultant Perry Franklin.

Resident Guy Barone lives next to the proposed flyover and is concerned about noise. "We want to know what noise abatements will be available to us because it doesn't look like there will be any," he said.

The widening proposal would also address a problem spot on Acadian Thruway for street flooding. The train trestle over the road would be elevated while the dip would be filled in slightly.

There are plans to install a larger drainage pump at the site in February to help with street flooding.

Many in the public have asked why DOTD is not working on a southern loop and new bridge across the Mississippi River instead of widening the interstate. DOTD officials said the interstate widening project is an essential piece of the overall plan to ease congestion on the corridor.

The widening project is being paid for with GARVEE bonds which can only be used on federal projects like the interstate. A tax and toll plan to build the southern loop and bridge was approved by the state legislature this year.

It's unclear when the tax and toll proposal will be presented to the public.

The public comments submitted at this week's meetings will be used to update the I-10 widening proposal. A final proposal will be presented at a public hearing at the end of the year.

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