Baton Rouge- Today, Governor John Bel Edwards and Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., were joined by state and local officials to celebrate the beginning of construction on the highly anticipated new I-10 College Drive exit in East Baton Rouge Parish.
This $52.3 million design-build project will eliminate the need for an additional structure by realigning the existing I-12 westbound traffic to more closely follow that of the I-12 eastbound alignment, and spanning both I-12 eastbound and I-12 westbound with a new I-10 westbound bridge. This will allow I-10 westbound traffic to exit to College Drive without crossing through mainline interstate traffic. Additionally, this alignment avoids additional visual and noise impacts to surrounding businesses and neighborhoods during and after construction.
“The creation and preservation of our transportation system has been one of this administration’s top priorities,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “We have continued this priority of improving infrastructure and enhancing commutes here in the Capitol Region by investing roughly $337.6 million in our roadway system. Investments such as this interstate enhancement project improve our economy and our overall quality of life.”
“This project is a critical piece for the overall I-10 corridor expansion, as this will provide immense safety benefits for the motorists who utilize this exit regularly,” said Secretary Wilson. “Not only will this reduce conflict points for vehicles trying to cross over multiple lanes of traffic, it will also assist will alleviating traffic that stays on the mainline interstate during peak hours. This is a signature project for this region and state, and I am very proud of the department for what it has done to deliver it.”
This new exit is one part of a multi-phased project that will widen I-10 from LA 415 in West Baton Rouge to the I-10/12 split in East Baton Rouge, which has an estimated construction cost of $716 million.
“Here in Baton Rouge we suffer from traffic congestion on our major highways,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “This causes frustration for local residents but also poses a statewide problem for travel and commerce that move throughout the state. Converging two major interstates into one such as the I-10 and I-12 convergence near College Drive is a high-volume exchange for Baton Rouge and the state. This College Drive flyover will make travel safer and efficient for all Louisianans.”
“This current College Drive configuration is a traffic hazard, but once completed, this project will certainly alleviate this problem and give us the opportunity to move traffic in a more organized fashion,” said Senator Cleo Fields. “This is a major project in this state, and I want to thank Secretary Wilson, Governor Edwards, and our partners on the national level for making this project a reality.”
Currently, there are over 21,000 vehicles that utilize the College Drive exit and another 98,000 motorists travel through this interchange with I-10 westbound daily.
The design-build team consists of the contractor Boh Bros. Construction Company and designer Gulf Engineers & Consultants. Construction will begin spring 2021 and is estimated to be completed in late 2022, weather permitting.