BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) held a ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the Perkins Road widening project from Essen Lane to Siegen Lane.
"I am happy to be here today to mark the early completion of this project. The additional lanes on Perkins Road will provide congestion relief to the nearly 25,000 people who drive this stretch of roadway each day and will help to foster and maintain economic growth in this area," said DOTD Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D. "I would like to sincerely thank all the residents and businesses that were inconvenienced by the construction for your extraordinary patience. I trust that this early Christmas present meets your expectations."
The project was opened to traffic on Nov. 25, and DOTD officially marked the completion of the project at 10 a.m. this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by DOTD Secretary Ankner. DOTD Legislative Liaison Roy Quezaire served as Master of Ceremonies. Other speakers included Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin L. "Kip" Holden, State Sen. Dan Claitor, and State Rep. Franklin J. Foil.
Work on the $27 million project included widening a three-mile, two-lane section of Perkins Road to five lanes from Essen Lane to Siegen Lane. The new road has two through lanes in each direction and a center turn-lane throughout the length of the project and an additional turn-lane at Perkins Road and Bluebonnet Boulevard. A few minor items remain to be completed, including landscaping and construction of a portion of the sidewalks, which may result in periodic lane closures.
The project also includes a 6-foot wide sidewalk, curbs and gutters, and subsurface drainage on each side of the roadway. All signal equipment was upgraded with the latest in signal technology. This new technology includes mast arm signal supports, light emitting diode (LED) signals for low energy consumption and longer life, and video traffic detection cameras that sense the movement of cars in order to adjust the timing of the signals.
Work on the project began in January 2007 and was completed in Dec. 2009, one month ahead of schedule. The project development was a joint effort between DOTD, the City of Baton Rouge and the Federal Highway Administration. The contractor for the project is James Construction Group, LLC, of Baton Rouge.