State and local officials broke ground today on the second phase of the Pecue Lane/Interstate 10 interchange project in Baton Rouge, according to an announcement from Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office.
The $13.6 million undertaking marks the latest development for the multi-phase interchange project, part of the city-parish’s Green Light Plan—a transportation initiative designed to construct road projects throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. Specifically, this phase will involve building “mechanically stabilized earth walls” on both sides of I-10, as well as replacing the existing two-lane bridge with two multi-lane bridges.
“This project will reduce congestion and increase connectivity while maximizing convenience for commuters and residents during construction,” says Mayor Sharon Weston Broome in a prepared statement. “The current overpass will remain open until the new one is complete and ready for use.”
Today’s announcement comes one month after the contractor, James Construction, began work in August. To kickstart the project, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development broke construction into multiple phases so it could prioritize funding with the city-parish government, says DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson in a prepared statement.
U.S. Rep. Garret Graves says the project is also partially funded by a portion of an $80.7 million award from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.
Currently, roughly 41,000 motorists travel Pecue Lane each day, with more than 92,000 vehicles occupying the section of I-10 daily. In the next 20 years, those numbers are expected to increase to 63,000 vehicles daily on Pecue Lane and more than 136,000 on I-10.
Phase III of the project, currently in the pre-construction phase, will widen Pecue Lane from two to four lanes between Perkins Road and Airline Highway, reconstruct the Kansas City Southern railroad crossing, replace the Ward Creek Bridge, construct I-10 on-off ramps to Pecue Lane, and open the Diverging Diamond Interchange, one of the first of its kind in Louisiana. Additionally, a connector road—Reiger Road—will be fully constructed to connect Industriplex to Pecue Lane.
Construction is estimated to be completed in late 2020, weather permitting.