BATON ROUGE, La. – The road to the mall just got a little easier for anyone who is shopping or traveling between Bluebonnet Boulevard and Siegen Lane.
The I-10/Picardy Avenue Interchange opened for traffic today at 11:52 a.m. The interchange is designed to relieve some of the traffic congestion on Bluebonnet and on I-10 between Bluebonnet and Siegen.
The completed project adds a new overpass above I-10 providing access to the Mall of Louisiana via the new Picardy extension. The overpass also connects with two new frontage roads that parallel I-10 between Bluebonnet and Siegen. Each of the frontage roads consists of two 12-foot lanes and provide on and off ramps to I-10.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) marked the opening of the interchange this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry. Other speakers included Baton Rouge Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden; Rep. William Daniel; City Councilor, Dr. Pat Culbertson; Danny Hester, James Construction Inc.; and Todd Denton, general manager of the Mall of Louisiana.
“The traffic in this area was already bad,” said DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry. “Add to that the increase in population due to the hurricanes, and you can see that this project’s completion is a welcome relief for this area, not only for today, but for the future.”
“The benefits from the I-10/Picardy Interchange are twofold. This new interchange will provide a tremendous relief to the heavily congested principal arterials (Bluebonnet Boulevard and Siegen Lane),” said Baton Rouge Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden. “This relief of congestion will, in turn, provide a boon to the economy of not only the local area, but also the regional area, thus increasing revenue earned by the City-Parish, as well as the State of Louisiana. It is truly a great thing to happen to Baton Rouge, and the City-Parish is proud to have been a partner in its installation.”
The contractor for the $50.6 million project was James Construction Group, LLC. The project was begun April 2004. Funding for this project was provided through East Baton Rouge Parish, DOTD and the Federal Highway Administration.
Although the roadway is open, motorists should proceed with caution through the area while clean up and final details of the project are completed.
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