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Residents debate over Ascension Parish interchange

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ASCENSION PARISH - Ascension is a huge hub for industry and is growing at a rapid pace. Residents and DOTD agree it's time to update the infrastructure. 

An I-10 interchange at Highway 74 has been in the works for years but hasn't moved forward due to a lack of funding. 

"There's a lot of projects that the state needs that are part of the plans that are not funded," said Rodney Mallett with DOTD. 

But some residents, including councilman Aaron Lawler, think the interchange is needed on Bluff Road instead . 

"So this is an area that will really help the people of Ascension Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish. Highway 74 is more to help in my opinion the industry along there. I'd rather help the people in the northern part of the parish than the industries," said Lawler. 

Gonzales resident Jeff Pettit disagrees. 

"I could see an interchange at Bluff, I could see one here at Highway 74 behind us, I could see improvements at the existing interchanges. We need improvements all over the place. But as far as picking one to go first, Highway 74 makes the most sense," said Pettit. 

Pettit says Ascension needs to keep up with the houses and apartments it keeps building and make industry a priority.

"I understand the traffic in Prairieville is tough, but it's every bit as tough down here, especially when servicing industry."

DOTD, however, isn't set on the Highway 74 location and is willing to hear Lawler and others out. 

"We can certainly look and see if it would be more beneficial to have it at Bluff Road than Highway 74, so both of those could be in the works," said Mallett. 


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