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Nicholson Drive to be widened to four lanes; construction set to start in 2024

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BATON ROUGE - City officials shared a first look at Nicholson Drive's $15 million upgrade in the coming years.

The first phase, of what is planned to be a three-phase project, will focus on Nicholson between Brightside Drive and Gourrier Avenue, along the edge of campus. According to city leaders with the MOVEBR project, the heavily-traveled street will be widened to four lanes with a median in the center, a 10-foot shared path, and bike lanes on either side. The plan will also include "J" turns that organizers believe will reduce left-turn crashes.

"Of course, when you have a divided highway, you can't make left turns as much as you could before, so these 'J' turns are going to be a way to safely and efficiently move traffic that are taking left-hand turns," said Mark Armstrong with the city-parish government.

Drainage will also be improved, and traffic lights will be synchronized by the time the I-10 widening project starts,

The other two phases will focus on the areas between Bluebonnet Boulevard and Ben Hur Drive and between Gardere Lane and the parish line.

The project is in the planning and design phase, with the next step being right-of-way acquisition with DOTD. Construction is slated to begin in 2024 and is expected to take about two years to complete.

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