I-12 widening and overlay set to begin in St. Tammany Parish
Friday, December 06, 2019 at 8:37:23 AM
Baton Rouge, LA - Today, Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., announced that work to widen and overlay I-12 between U.S. 190 and LA 59 will begin in the upcoming weeks. At the letting on November 25, 2019, James Construction Group, LLC, was the apparent low bidder for the project, which is estimated to cost $55 million. The construction will also include widening six existing bridges along I-12.

DOTD is completing construction plans for the second phase of I-12 improvements in St. Tammany Parish, a future project which will widen the interstate between LA 21 and U.S. 190, scheduled for bid in the spring of 2020. For this phase, the parish received a $25 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in December 2018, combined with a $7.2 million commitment from St. Tammany Parish and a $5 million contribution from DOTD. In addition, and in an effort to maximize the project’s impacts and minimize future costs, DOTD plans to include a third lane eastbound in the bid for this phase. The original grant application called for an extra lane westbound with the eastbound addition to take place when funding became available.

DOTD is also preparing plans for a third phase of I-12 improvements from LA 1077 to LA 21.

“It is an exciting day when we can move forward with a mega infrastructure project that is crucial for the state,” said Gov. Edwards. “The widening of I-12 in St. Tammany Parish is a project that has been on the books for years but was not able to move forward due to funding. Investing in infrastructure has been a commitment of my administration and I am proud to move forward with yet another example of what can be accomplished when state and parish officials work together.”

“The safe and efficient movement of motorists is our priority, and with the support of this administration, we have been able to bring this project to the forefront with innovative funding and collaboration,” said Sec. Wilson. “This project is just one phase in the overall three-phase plan to widen this critical corridor to reduce traffic congestion along I-12 and strengthen this section as a vital economic corridor.”

“The widening of I-12 is, and always has been, a priority of my administration. This step brings us closer to seeing this phase of the project take shape,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “I am thrilled to see it moving forward so quickly, and I want to thank the DOTD for working so closely with us to make this widening a reality.”

Each year the U.S. Department of Transportation redistributes federal funding from budgeted funds that were not used by other states or national programs to those states that successfully obligated their full federal highway funding allotment during the fiscal year. In August 2019, DOTD received $76.2 million of those federal funds, the 19th year in a row the state has received redistributed funds.

The stretch of I-12 between U.S. 190 and LA 59 sees over 76,000 vehicles per day. The project will add a third lane in each direction and include widening the existing bridges over U.S. 190, Ponchitolawa Creek, and Tammany Trace. Construction will begin in early 2020 and is expected to last approximately 2.5 years, weather permitting. St. Tammany Parish is contributing $8 million to the project.