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Officials break ground on a new highway project in Ascension Parish

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ASCENSION PARISH - Louisiana State Department of Transportation and Development officials broke ground Friday on a highway project in Ascension Parish. It will turn Highway 44 into four lanes from 1-10 south to LA 941, including a second roundabout.

"It's going to make a world of difference in terms of the traveling public, but more importantly, it's going to be a safety improvement," Dr. Shaw Wilson, Secretary of Transportation said. 

The new roundabout will be located at the intersection of LA-44 and 941.

"You take your life in your hands just coming out onto the road," local homeowner Wendi Boone said.

Boone lives near the intersection and says the congestion there is horrible and getting worse with all of the growth on the highway.

"It's unbelievable, especially at about 4:30. You cannot possibly take a left from 941 to Highway 44 between 4:30 and 6:30," Boone said. 

Even though officials are taking action to relieve congestion at this intersection, folks who live around here say it's long overdue.

Boone is happy to hear about the roundabout, but she says residents have been asking for at least a traffic light at the intersection for years.

"I've been here for 26 years, and it's been a bad problem for the last twenty," Boone said.  

Dr. Wilson says projects like this take time, especially with all the underground utilities in the area.

"This project had a large number of utilities that had to be relocated and resolved before you actually bid for a project." Dr. Wilson said. 

The work on the 6.2-million-dollar project will start in August, and will likely cause more traffic woes until it's completed in mid-2023.

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