LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Construction is set to start on a widening project along Interstate 10 in Louisiana between Westlake and Sulphur. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced the I-10 widening and improvement project is anticipated to begin Monday, January 13, 2020.
The $45.5 million project will widen I-10 eastbound and westbound to four lanes between LA 108 and I-210, which will create an axillary lane between the interchanges. The concrete sections west of Maple Fork Bridge will be fully reconstructed and replaced, and the existing asphalt pavement east of the Maple Fork Bridge will be milled and overlaid. The Maple Fork Bridges will also be replaced and raised above the 100-year flood elevation.
Everyday traffic issues, compounded by a wet forecast like this week's, are a constant pain for those traveling Interstate 10, like Brittany Hueter.
“How my wreck happened was somebody was trying to get over, they were just too impatient and I either hit them and tried to slow down because the roadway was so wet and I just spun out of control,” said Hueter.
For Brittany and the nearly 100,000 drivers that pass along this stretch of the interstate, lane count plays a major role in their daily commute.
“Anyone who drives in that area knows how congested it can be so adding an extra lane is going to alleviate that as well,” said DOTD Spokesperson Tammy York.
It’s safe to say that accidents like Hueters’ are a driving force for DOTD’s latest project in the Lake Area. Spokesperson Tammy York says the project will prompt lane closures that every driver will want to be aware of.
“Initial lane closures are going to alternate," said York. "You’re going to see one lane closed eastbound and then westbound and once all that prep work is done, then we’re going to reduce down to 2 lanes in each direction and that’s going to be the major traffic pattern for the majority of the project.”
It’s a project that drivers like Hueter say is much needed.
“It’s good that they’re doing something about it.”
York says motorists should anticipate greater traffic impacts the first few days of the project as drivers adjust to the reduced lanes. A traffic advisory system will be implemented on I-10 and will provide real-time traffic information to motorists via message boards and flashing signs.
The entire project is expected to be complete in Summer 2021, with progress dependent on weather. To prepare for the project, motorists may use 511 and MyDOTD. Motorists may visit www.511la.org or download the app to get updates on traffic conditions and issues. With 511, motorists can create an account and have alerts sent to their phone via email or text.
Motorists may also visit MyDOTD at www.dotd.la.gov to view and receive scheduled lane closures and press release notices via email. Motorists may customize their alerts to this project by selecting the project page.
York says during the project, at least two lanes of traffic are expected to be open at all times, with lane closures occurring at slow hours, like overnight.
The entire project is expected to be completed by Summer 2021, with progress dependent on weather.