The $33 million LA 616 (Arkansas Road) widening and roundabouts project will transform the manner in which traffic currently flows down the busy residential and commercial corridor in West Monroe, LA (Ouachita Parish).
The project includes widening the previously 2-lane road to five lanes with a center turning lane. A key feature of the project is the replacement of four signalized intersections with roundabouts, which are increasing in number across Louisiana, and in the northern region of the state.
In addition to widening, the roadway is being completely reconstructed to extend the service life of the highway, which sees approximately 10,000+ vehicles per day traveling through multiple intersections.
In development for several years, the 3-mile long project gained support from elected officials and stakeholders on the local, state, and federal levels, with those leaders recognizing the need for investment in a capacity and congestion-relief project in the region.
Consideration was also given for the safe and efficient movement of pedestrians, with the addition of sidewalks to both sides of the roadway for nearly the full length of the project, including pedestrian facilities in each of the roundabouts.
A milestone was reached in September 2019 with the opening of two of the four roundabouts, which immediately improved the flow of traffic and safety at the intersections.
A groundbreaking ceremony attended by Governor John Bel Edwards, DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson, and multiple local and state leaders, was held in September 2017. The entire project is expected to be completed in Spring 2021.