I-10 project in BR gets $4.6 million boost through new program
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 12:00:00 AM

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry announced Monday that an Interstate 10 widening project in Baton Rouge will receive a $4.6 million boost through a new federal program.

            The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Corridors of the Future” program, a new initiative in which states submitted proposals to relieve interstate congestion. I-10 was selected as one of six federal “Corridors of the Future,” a designation that gives Louisiana priority funding and a competitive edge in financing projects on I-10. The $4.6 million will help pay to widen I-10 from I-12 to Siegen Lane from four lanes to six lanes.

            “I-10 continues to be a driving force for economic growth and recovery in south Louisiana,” Bradberry said. “This money will ensure that we can widen this part of the interstate and relieve some of the congestion that threatens our growth and recovery. But more importantly, we believe this grant is an indication of more federal support for I-10 in the future.”

            The four-lane segment of I-10 from I-12 to Siegen Lane handles nearly 80,000 vehicles per day, and traffic often comes to a stop during peak times. The $4.6 million will help pay for the $50-$60 million project. DOTD will take bids on the project in May 2008.

            “Part of DOTD becoming a more efficient organization includes finding alternate ways to finance projects,” Bradberry said. “Free money is a great alternative for us.”

             A future Louisiana route, Interstate 69 in north Louisiana, also was named as a “Corridor of the Future.” I-69 is in the planning stages in Louisiana.