DOTD breaks ground on I-10 expansion project

BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. broke ground on the design-build project that will widen Interstate 10 from four to six lanes east of Highland Road to LA 73. The governor and secretary were joined by state and local officials at Blue Bayou Water Park for the ceremony. Actual construction on the widening is scheduled to begin in early 2018.

“We continue to move Louisiana forward with roadway projects like this one that , once completed, will benefit private and commercial transportation,” said Governor Edwards. “Major projects such as this one will be limited in the near future because of the undeniable need for infrastructure funding, but my administration is accountable to our citizens and will use all possible means to continue investing in our infrastructure.”

The $72 million project is being funded by a combination of federal and state funds, including use of over $40 million in congressionally authorized repurposed earmarks. The $72 million project will maximize the future utility of Highland Road such that there are no physical limitations to addressing congestion on Highland Road. Improvements to Highland Road are unfunded and not a component of this project.

The design-build process allows a designer and contractor to bid and collaborate on the project together, resulting in quicker project completion. The design-build method expedites the project delivery process, making projects “shovel-ready” faster and successfully meeting aggressive funding and delivery schedules. For this project, DOTD actually enhanced the efficiency of design-build procurement by pursuing Request for Qualifications (RFQ) concurrently with issuance of the draft Request for Proposals (RFP).

“We are pleased to be breaking ground on this much-needed expansion of I-10,” said Secretary Wilson. “Over 95,000 motorists travel this segment of I-10 every day, and the new lanes will help to increase safety and reduce travel times. This project has major benefits to the state and is another step in improving our residents’ quality of life.”

James Construction Group, LLC, was the successful bidder at a price of $72 million. The project will take approximately 2.5 years and includes the widening I-10 from four lanes to six lanes west of Highland Road to the LA 73 interchange, as well as the replacement of the LA 42 overpass structures.

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