DENHAM SPRINGS – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal participated in a ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on a project to extend the current widening of I-12 to Juban Road. The ceremony was held at Bass Pro Shop in Denham Springs where the Governor was joined by Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas and state and local officials for a ceremonial groundbreaking.
Governor Jindal said, "Since taking office, we've invested more than $598 million in transportation projects throughout East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes. Recently, $38 million was appropriated towards the continued widening of I-12 from Juban to Walker. I-12 is a critical corridor for Southeast Louisiana and our entire state because it is a major roadway for commuters and business alike. Indeed, widening I-12 will reduce congestion and enhance our economic development opportunities across the state. "
The new $36.2 million project will widen approximately two miles of I-12 from two to three lanes eastbound from Pete’s Highway to Juban Road and westbound from Juban Road to just east of 4-H Club Road. The project, which was awarded to Gilchrist Construction Company of Alexandria, La., is scheduled to be complete in early 2012.
I-12 to Juban Road is the fourth widening project to begin construction under the $293.6 million Geaux Wider Program. Geaux Wider is a multi-year construction initiative designed to increase capacity, improve safety and enhance mobility along 16 miles of Interstates 10 and 12 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.
DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas said, "The investment in these infrastructure projects is vital as I-10 and I-12 are crucial commerce routes and emergency evacuation corridors. Further, the improvements to transportation corridors such as this provide even more incentive for businesses to locate into this great state."
Other projects under the Geaux Wider Program include widening I-12 from Pete’s Highway to O’Neal Lane, scheduled for completion in mid 2012; widening I-10 from the 10/12 Split to Siegen Lane, scheduled for completion in late 2011; and widening I-10 from Siegen Lane to Highland Road, scheduled for completion in early 2013. The initiative also includes the installation of 16 ramp meters along I-12 from Baton Rouge to Livingston Parish, scheduled to be complete by late 2010, with the exception of the eastbound ramps at O’Neal Lane and Range Road.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, the department is able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.