Major road improvements have been finished on Brightside Lane, the 16th road construction project completed in the city-parish’s Green Light Plan.

The Brightside Lane work, which cost approximately $7.1 million, includes an expanded, three-lane roadway for Brightside Lane from River Road to west of Nicholson Drive, according to a news release.

The project also included sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes along both sides of the newly expanded roadway. 

Brightside Lane now has new traffic signals at Alvin Dark Avenue, traffic signal upgrades with new lighting, and an enhanced intersection configuration at River Road with new turning lanes on River Road and Brightside Lane.

“The completion of the Brightside Lane project is a welcome sight for all who live, work and travel throughout South Baton Rouge and the LSU area,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said in a news release. 

“A wider roadway with enhanced access for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists means another major step in the right direction in our efforts to reduce congestion while providing safe and efficient transportation options for our citizens,” Holden said.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the project at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the project right-of-way area near First Baptist Deaf Church, 2538 Brightside Lane.

The Green Light Plan is a comprehensive, tax-funded road improvements program.

The money for the program comes from the extension of a half-cent sales and use tax dedicated to local street and roadway improvements that was approved by East Baton Rouge Parish voters in 2005. They approved extending the tax until 2030, said John Snow, Green Light Plan spokesman.

The bonding of a portion of the transportation improvement component of the tax allows the city-parish to complete projects faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional “pay as you go” projects, Snow said.

So far, nearly $450 million has been committed to projects within the Green Light Plan —either spent or obligated — through bond proceeds and tax collections, Snow said. 

At the present time, the estimate for completing the Green Light Plan is approximately $650 million, Snow said.

Twelve major projects are under construction across the parish as part of the plan.

Twenty-six road construction projects are scheduled to be completed under the Green Light Plan by the end of 2011, Snow said.