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Congestion builds on eastbound Interstate 10 at Highland Road after a crash shut down the left lane Friday afternoon, April 19, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. The incident caused heavy delays that passed the Bluebonnet Boulevard exit.

PRAIRIEVILLE — Construction crews are nearing the end of a $72 million project to widen 6.5 miles of Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish, state highway officials said.

All six lanes will be open with intermittent lane closures to finish the work, officials with the state Department of Transportation and Development said in a statement Monday. 

After some nighttime and weekend work to complete striping and guardrails, all six lanes of traffic along the I-10 segment between Highland Road and La. 73 — the Prairieville/Geismar exit — should be fully opened by the end of October. That will provide increased capacity for the nearly 100,000 vehicles that travel the corridor each day, officials said.

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“This portion of I-10 is a critical freight corridor for Baton Rouge and New Orleans and a daily commuter route for thousands of residents,” DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson said in a statement. “Increasing the capacity will mitigate traffic congestion and encourage economic development in the region. This success story is an example of what the state can do when we are provided the resources.”

The state has a $14 billion backlog of road and bridge needs, which has forced officials to take a variety of steps to finance new projects.

This one includes $40 million in unused highway funds from other states. 

Construction for the project began in February 2018 and includes new interstate bridges above Highland Road and at Bayou Manchac.

The project was executed as a design-build project, a delivery method that allows the contractor and designer to work concurrently. This approach compresses the time it takes to complete the project, from planning to final delivery, state highway officials said.

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Lane closures will take place on nights and during the weekend so crews can install guardrails, applying permanent striping and performing other items to close out the job.

For more details on the project, visit the On the Greaux lane closure calendar.


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.