BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D., invited local leaders to join him in officially marking the start of the Interstate 12 Widening Project.
Secretary Ankner hosted the groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. at Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs. Other speakers included State Representative J. Rogers Pope, State Representative Clifton Richardson, State Representative M.J. “Mert” Smiley Jr., State Representative Mack A. “Bodi” White Jr., State Senator Dale Erdey, Livingston Parish President Mike Grimmer and Denham Springs Mayor Jimmy Durbin.
“I am happy to be here today to mark the start of construction on this project,” said Ankner. “I-12 is part of a corridor that connects two growing parishes. This $100 million project is important to the region, because it will help alleviate traffic concerns and make the road safer for the more than 84,000 drivers who use the road daily.”
The project will widen I-12 from two lanes to three lanes on the eastbound side from the west side of the O’Neal Lane overpass to just east of Pete’s Highway and on the westbound side from just west of 4-H Club Road to the west side of the O’Neal Lane overpass. In addition, the project will widen the inside and outside shoulders to 12 feet and completely replace the eastbound and westbound bridges over the Amite River.
The project is funded entirely with surplus funds provided by Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature in 2008.
Work on the 3-mile segment of I-12 will begin the week of May 4 and is expected to finish before Thanksgiving 2011. The prime contractor for the project is James Construction Group LLC of Baton Rouge.