LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is proposing to remove the existing ramps off I-10 at Ryan Street westbound as well as the eastbound Downtown exit, and reconstruct them.
Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said the project is designed to enhance and improve access on and off the interstate into the downtown area of Lake Charles.
"We have worked with the state in developing the project," Roach said. "We have funded a lot of the engineering costs that went in to the design phase."
He said the city and state are hoping to get the right-of-way completely under contract along with ownerships within the next several months. Then the state can go out and acquire the land it needs to begin the construction process. But once construction begins, he said it won't affect the downtown traffic.
"Primarily the focus of the project is to create new access into downtown off the interstate," he said. "So I don't see that as a being a problem for downtown merchants. I don't see it as being a problem for local residents."
He said the construction will be primarily around the exit ramps and not in the downtown area.
Roach said downtown construction along Ryan Street, the Lakefront and Millennium Park will have been completed by the time exit ramp construction would begin. He said right now the city and state is just getting everything together by finalizing plans for construction and right-of-way maps.
The ramps will be better and easier for exiting the I-10 once the project is complete.
A start date for construction has not been set.