State highway officials plan to host two open houses next week to share details about a project to add more lanes to 6.5 miles of I-10 in East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is using the design-build process to speed up the $72 million project to widen Interstate 10 from four to six lanes between Highland Road in Baton Rouge and La. 73 in Prairieville. 

The meetings will offer information on the scope, timeline and expected traffic impacts from the construction job, which began in February. DOTD officials said they will be on hand to answer questions.

The project, which is expected to take about two years to finish, will include replacing the I-10 overpasses across Highland Road in Baton Rouge with one six-lane overpass, raising and repairing the Bluff Road overpass over I-10 in Ascension and widening the I-10 bridges over Bayou Manchac at the parish line.

In 2016, this section of I-10 carried more than 95,000 vehicles a day, a nearly 20 percent increase from a 2013 DOTD traffic count.

DOTD officials said the section carries local commuter traffic from fast-growing Ascension but is also part of the main route between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and one of the busiest freight routes in Louisiana.

The informal meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at St. George Catholic Church, 7808 St. George Drive, Baton Rouge, and 6:30 p.m. April 26 at Dutchtown High School, 13165 La. 73, Geismar, state highway officials said Monday.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.