BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana will widen Interstate 10 to six lanes on a heavily traveled, 7-mile stretch of the road in East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes, Gov. John Bel Edwards and his transportation secretary announced Tuesday.
The project will widen the interstate from four lanes at Highland Road in East Baton Rouge Parish to La. 73 in Ascension Parish, a main thoroughfare in the capital region that regularly clogs with traffic. Officials also may raise the interstate by a foot or more in places where it flooded last month.
The work is estimated to cost more than $60 million, but Edwards said it can be jump-started with $40 million in available federal dollars. That money had been earmarked for other projects, but the governor said the time limit for using the cash was expiring soon and the other projects weren’t ready to go. The other projects will remain in line for later funding streams.
State transportation secretary Shawn Wilson said the interstate widening work could begin within a year.
The project will need approval from the House and Senate transportation committees before it can go out for bid. Leaders of the two panels said they would vote on the plan next week, and expected passage.