Despite gleeful pronouncements from Gov. John Bel Edwards and a crowd of state and local officials more than 15 months ago, Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel writes in her new column that little progress has been made on the planned $350 million widening of Interstate 10 through the heart of Baton Rouge.
There was a lot of enthusiasm about the project at the time, but now engineers at the state Department of Transportation and Development, tasked with turning this much-celebrated plan into a workable project, are having a hard time dealing with the technical—and political—realities. The fundamental question to tackle: How do you widen the interstate along an already congested, 3.5-mile stretch between the base of the Mississippi Bridge and the I-10/I-12 split without making life for just about everybody in Baton Rouge a whole lot worse for a really long time?
Further complicating matters is the fact that in the months since the project was announced, DOTD officials have determined the entire elevated portion of I-10—which is most of the 3.5-mile stretch—has to be replaced, raising the price tag. Read Riegel’s full column. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org