The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has many interstate projects underway aimed at easing the efficiency and traveling of motorists, as well as creating many economic benefits to residents and business owners. There is a $72 million project to widen I-10 from four to six lanes east of Highland Road in East Baton Rouge Parish to LA 73 in Ascension Parish. This 6.5-mile segment of the interstate carries more than 95,000 vehicles a day.
This east-west corridor is frequently congested during morning and afternoon commutes by people traveling between Baton Rouge and the growing suburban areas of northern Ascension Parish. This portion of I-10 also is part of the main route between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and is one of the busiest surface freight corridors in Louisiana.
DOTD will rebuild the I-10 overpass above Highland Road, replacing the existing two bridges with one large overpass with three eastbound lanes and three westbound lanes. The bridge that carries La. 928, known locally as Bluff Road, over I-10 already has been raised 9.5 inches to accommodate new interstate standards. And, the I-10 bridge over Bayou Manchac at the East Baton Rouge/Ascension Parish line is being widened to accommodate six full traffic lanes.
The interstate improvements are being constructed and managed under an innovative process called design-build, which can cut the cost and construction time of large transportation projects. Under design-build, a construction contractor and engineer-designer join forces to work concurrently on design and construction plans. This is different than the traditional design-bid-build process, in which an engineering team designs the project, the owner bids out the construction work, and a contractor builds the project.
Construction on the project began in February 2018 and is expected to be completed in mid-2020.