Plans are underway for the construction of a 2.7-mile connector intended to relieve traffic along the regularly clogged stretch of Interstate 10 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office announced this afternoon. It’s among a handful of projects that will receive funding from a $700 million infrastructure investment bill the governor signed into law today.
Some $125 million is being allocated for a four-lane roadway between La. 1 near La. 988 (Beaulieu Lane) and I-10 at the busy La. 415 interchange in West Baton Rouge. A bridge over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway will also be constructed.
Elevated structures—such as flyover ramps from northbound La. 1 to southbound La. 1—will be required for much of the project, ultimately linking the La. 415/Lobdell Highway exit along I-10 to La. 1.
Besides improving connectivity on I-10 in West Baton Rouge, state officials tout the project as a way to relieve local traffic during peak hours, divert motorists from accidents along La. 1 and easily direct commercial vehicles to intermodal transportation facilities at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. When complete, the connector will also serve as an additional evacuation route for areas south of the interstate.
DOTD expects to have a design consultant under contract by this fall, with construction estimated to begin in the fall of 2022.
Meanwhile, the new law appropriates the remaining BP oil spill settlement money to six other transportation projects across the state. Among these is the widening of Hooper Road in East Baton Rouge Parish.