City-parish officials cut the ribbon last week on the latest construction work designed to ease traffic snarls along Essen Lane.

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden, city-parish officials and area business leaders held the ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 10 that marked the opening of two additional turning lanes onto Interstate 10 that will allow dual left turns for both southbound and northbound Essen Lane. More than 55,000 motorists travel Essen daily.

Command Construction Industries was responsible for the intersection improvements included as part of this first phase of construction, which was awarded via the public bid process in February and was constructed at a total cost of $2.1 million.

The improvements were part of the city-parish’s Green Light Plan. It’s taken less than a year to complete the construction on the first phase of improvements to Essen.

The project is part of a larger collaboration between the mayor’s Green Light Plan team and the state Department of Transportation and Development. The continuing DOTD portion of the project includes widening along Essen Lane leading to the I-10 intersection, Wards Creek Bridge and other area enhancements.

Overall, the road construction is expected to cost more than $14 million.

For information, visit the Green Light Plan website at or DOTD’s website for this project at