LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Department of Transportation and Development is rebuilding the 16 mile stretch of I-10 from I-49 to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.
Contractors will tear up the original pavement and replace it will new pavement. They’re also adding one lane each way. DOTD public information officer Deidra Druilhet said there will three lanes in each direction. However, the eastbound lanes between Henderson and the Basin Bridge will remain two lanes.
“That’s primarily because we need to basically get traffic back to two lanes because the Basin Bridge is only two lanes so we need to get traffic back down to two lanes,” Druilhet explained.
Crews will also widen all of the bridges on that stretch of Interstate 10. The DOTD said 60,000 vehicles travel this section of I-10 every day.
“What we’re seeing is traffic increasing. We need to be able to have infrastructure that’s going to be able to keep up with that demand,” Druilhet said.
The work is being done in three phases. The first segment from I-49 to Breaux Bridge is $124 million. Work began in May and is scheduled to be finished by fall 2019.
The DOTD broke ground on the second section two weeks ago. It also has an expected completion date of fall 2019. The $56 million project will go from Henderson to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.
“These projects exemplify how we can make strategic investments to improve the safety, economy, and quality of life for Louisianans,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said at the groundbreaking.
The third section will be the middle section between Breaux Bridge and Henderson. It hasn’t gone out to bid yet but it’s estimated to cost more than $100 million. The entire project will cost around $280 million.
Right now crews are working in the median — or middle of the interstate. The DOTD said it is required to keep two lanes open at all times. They may have to shut down a lane of traffic at times, but they plan to do it during the overnight hours when there’s not as much traffic on the interstate.