Contact: Sam Moore, TIMED Spokesperson
Phone: 1.866.TIMED LA
KINDER, La.—The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) on Tuesday celebrated the completion of the newly four-laned U.S. 165 evacuation corridor from Interstate 10 in Iowa to Alexandria.
“The extra lanes, along with the widening of I-10 in Lake Charles and U.S. 171, gives the people of southwest Louisiana more options for emergency evacuation,” said DOTD Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D.
DOTD celebrated the completion of the project at 10:30 a.m. with a ceremony hosted by DOTD Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D. Other speakers included State Representative Dorothy Sue Hill, Assistant Deputy Director of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Pat Santos and Louisiana State Police Major Joel “Young” Kilpatrick.
In addition to being an important evacuation corridor, U.S. 165 provides a direct link to other major highways like Interstate 49, U.S. 71 and U.S.167 in Alexandria, and will ultimately connect to Interstate 20 in Ruston and Monroe.
Work on the $387 million project included widening a 78-mile segment of U.S. 165 from I-10 in Iowa to Alexandria from two to four lanes. The contractors for the project were Diamond B. Construction Co., Gilchrist Construction Company and J.B. James Construction Co.
The 173-mile project to widen the entire U.S. 165 corridor to the Arkansas border is slated for completion by the middle of 2010. There are 28.5 remaining miles of highway still under construction. These four highway segments are located from Georgetown to Tullos, Grayson to Columbia and Bastrop to Log Cabin and Log Cabin to the Arkansas state line.
The project to widen U.S. 165 is part of the TIMED Program, the single largest transportation program in state history. The program is designed to enhance economic development in Louisiana through an investment in transportation projects, and is funded by a dedicated $0.04 per gallon gasoline and motor fuels tax. It was created by Act 16 of the 1989 Louisiana Legislature and was approved by a vote of the people.