DOTD celebrates construction of Government St. Road Diet project
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 4:36:50 PM
Baton Rouge- Today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn Wilson was joined by Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and other state and local officials to celebrate the beginning of construction for the Government St. Road Diet project in East Baton Rouge Parish. The ceremony was held at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, located along the project’s corridor. Upon completion, this segment of road will be transferred to the City of Baton Rouge, and be operated and managed as a local road, consistent with its current functionality.

This road diet stretches over four miles of Government St. from East Boulevard in Downtown Baton Rouge to the Lobdell Ave. intersection near Independence Park. Once completed, this corridor will see one travel lane in each direction, with a two-way-left-turn-lane in the center, along with sidewalk improvements with ADA accessible ramps and bicycle lanes in each direction. Additionally, a roundabout will replace the signalized intersection at Government St., Lobdell Ave., and Independence Park Boulevard, which will improve safety and efficiency for motorists.

“Once we are finished with this project, Government St. will be transformed into a truly multimodal corridor with bike lanes and better access to public transit,” said Secretary Wilson. “This in turn will encourage more pedestrian activity, biking, and facilitate economic investment and development in this corridor.”

Safety measures are expected to increase along this highly traveled stretch of Government St., as safety analyses show that road diets reduce the number of wrecks at intersections and the roadway by half. The addition of raised divider islands will also aid in safety and traffic improvements by controlling access for vehicles turning at different sections along this corridor. It will also make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling throughout the roadway.

"This project will completely transform Government Street. What’s now a high-speed traffic roadway will become a safe, walkable and bikeable, retail destination," said Mayor Broome. "This beautiful corridor will attract even more new businesses, further enhancing economic growth on Government Street."

Barber Bros. Contracting was awarded the $11.7 million bid. Construction began on January 22 and is expected to be completed by July 2019.