DOTD holds ribbon-cutting ceremony for Cove Lane Interchange project
Wednesday, July 01, 2015 at 3:44:19 PM
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by state and local officials to celebrate completion of the Cove Lane Interchange project in Calcasieu Parish.

Addressing congestion along I-210 in the Cove Lane and Nelson Road area was considered one of the highest priorities in the 2007 I-210 Corridor Study.

The project consists of three phases, which will cost a total of $80 million. The construction of Cove Lane is the first of three phases that will take place over the next few years to address congestion along I-210 in the Cove Lane and Nelson Road areas.

“It’s critical that we continue to make infrastructure investments that will greatly benefit motorists and keep our economy growing,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas.

The $38.6 million project constructed a full interchange at Cove Lane and I-210. In addition, roundabout was built at the intersection of Cove Lane and West Prien Lake Road, and Cove Lane was extended north to connect with a new public roadway being built by the casino that will parallel I-210 on the north side of the interstate.

Since Governor Jindal took office in 2008, $97 million has been invested to improve the I-210 corridor.

Serving more than 50,000 motorists a day, I-210 serves as a bypass around Lake Charles and connects to Interstate 10. Interstate 10 is the southernmost interstate highway corridor connecting Houston and New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida, and Los Angeles, California.

In our local region, I-10 is a major connector between Lake Charles and New Orleans, where it serves a growing area of commercial development, industrial operations and residential communities.

The Cove Lane Interchange will provide a direct access of midwest industries to the ports of south Louisiana, enhance the bypass around Lake Charles for traffic on I-210, and a connection between oil industry suppliers and manufacturers from New Orleans to Houston.

The corridor improvements along I-210 will allow for quicker access to local airports and ports, including the Lake Charles Regional Airport, Chennault International Airport, Southland Executive Airport, Lake Charles Port, and West Calcasieu Port.

Other major industries in the area benefiting from this project include Westlake Petrochemicals, PPG Industries, Targa Louisiana Field Services, Basell USA, Inc., Firestone Polymers, Sasol North America, Calcasieu Refining Company, R&R Construction, Cheniere Energy, and Trunkline Gas Company.

“Investing in our state’s infrastructure not only produces quality roads, but it also enhances the quality of life for the people of Louisiana,” stated Senator Ronnie Johns.

Senator Dan Morrish said, “The completion of this project not only allows for improved transportation for motorists, but it also will enhance economic development along the corridor.”

Representative Chuck Kleckley added, “This project is a great example of our state’s commitment to enhancing transportation throughout Louisiana.”

“This project will be an asset to the community by enhancing traffic flow and safety to local commerce, educational institutions and facilities throughout Calcasieu Parish,” said Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Nic Hunter.

“The completion of the Cove Lane Interchange has been long-awaited for the City of Lake Charles,” expressed Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach. “We look forward to the many transportation and economic benefits this project will bring for years to come.”

“The benefits of this project will extend beyond the needs of local motorists, said Port of Lake Charles Director William Rase. “This project will also benefit local businesses, including our port, by providing better and efficient access.”

“Projects such as the Cove Lane Interchange not only serve as a great benefit to motorists, but it will also serve as an invaluable benefit to the many businesses along this continually growing corridor. L’Auberge and Pinnacle are pleased that our $20-million financial contribution to this unique partnership led to a successful outcome for all,” said Director of Public Relations for Pinnacle Entertainment, Kerry Anderson.

“We’re excited that visitors will now experience direct access to the casino, hotel, restaurants, retailers, spa and golf course,” said Gerry Del Prete, General Manager of the Golden Nugget Resort. “Golden Nugget Lake Charles is gearing up for summer with a packed schedule of live entertainment and events, and we know that the addition of Exit 3 will directly benefit our guests as they enter our property.”

Executive Director of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shelley Johnson said, “The mission of the bureau is to market the area as a desirable destination while enhancing the economic fabric of the parish through bringing in leisure travelers, groups, media, tournaments, events and conferences. The opening of this long awaited roadway will allow for a more positive visitor experience as it will relieve traffic congestion near Golden Nugget and L’Auberge Casino Resort, two large attractions for visitors with close proximity to popular shopping and dining establishments. This opening will be appreciated by travelers especially in light of additional economic development.”