Q. Is there any plan to finish what appears to be a second left turn lane onto Essen at the Interstate 10 westbound exit? This was started during the last redo but doesn’t quite meet Essen. It would surely help the backup getting to the medical complex.

A. You’re right about the traffic. Essen Lane between Perkins Road and Jefferson Highway at Interstate 12 gets more than 55,000 drivers a day, according to the city-parish’s Greenlight Plan site online, at greenlight.csrsonline.com.

The site notes that Essen Lane’s congestion at I-10 during weekday peak driving periods is “due in part to the volume of motorists entering and exiting the interstate.”

The interchange improvement project, which runs along Essen Lane from south of United Plaza Boulevard to the bridge at Ward’s Creek, will add two turn lanes onto I-10 to provide dual left-turns for southbound and northbound Essen Lane. In addition, one lane will be added to the I-10 eastbound on and off ramps, one lane to the westbound on-ramp, and signals will be improved at Essen’s intersection with Essen Park Avenue, as well as the two on- and off-ramps.

The City of Baton Rouge is coordinating efforts on this project with the state Department of Transportation and Development, which also is overseeing a separate but related project to widen one mile of Essen Lane from Perkins Road to I-10 to six lanes with a continuous two-way center turn lane. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

For updates on the Essen Lane projects, visit http://www.dotd.la.gov/essen.

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