Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., announced the details of the $52 million allocation in Federal Redistribution Funds to St. Tammany Parish for the widening of I-12 from US Highway 190 to LA Highway 59. This funding is a portion of the $76.2 million in federal funds received by DOTD that will be used throughout the entire state to quickly advance highway projects.
"St. Tammany Parish is continuing to see an influx of residents, and the widening of I-12 will benefit the residents and the motorists who travel this stretch of highway. Investing in infrastructure projects like this not only provides much-needed traffic relief to the area, but also boosts the economy and quality of life for Louisianans," said Gov. Edwards. "With more than $2 billion invested in strategic infrastructure projects across the state, this project is just one of the many ways we have made infrastructure a top priority."
Plans for the I-12 expansion funded by the $52 million in Federal Redistribution Funds, include the addition of a third lane in each direction, as well as the widening of bridges over US Highway 190, Ponchitolawa Creek, and Little Creek/Tammany Trace. St. Tammany Parish will contribute $8 million to this widening project. This project is scheduled to be let in December of 2019.
“It is not lost on us that this we received the lion’s share of the total allocated State funds, and we are excited that the I-12 project is a priority, soon to become a reality,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We have long touted the need for this project, and because of our past collaborative work with the State, our constant communications, and everyone’s commitment to making this happen, this funding will provide safer travel for our citizens.”
In early 2018, DOTD and St. Tammany Parish partnered to apply for a Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Grant. In December of 2018, Parish President Pat Brister announced the award of a $25 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Grant, to fund the widening of I-12 from LA Highway 21 to US Highway 190. Design plans for this project are underway. DOTD is also preparing plans for the third phase of I-12 improvements from LA 1077 to U.S. 190.
“It is always a great day when we can announce that the state has received funding to widen another portion of our interstate system. St. Tammany Parish is a rapidly growing area. This three-mile stretch of I-12 alone sees over 70,000 vehicles a day and is expected to increase to over 110,000 vehicles daily in the next 20 years. This widening is vital to the economic growth in this area, as it allows for greater productivity and freight transportation from surrounding states,” said Secretary Wilson.
Additionally, Secretary Wilson discussed the DOTD sponsored Motorist Assistance Patrol (MAP) program that expanded to include parts of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes. This program offers assistance to disabled interstate motorists by providing one gallon of fuel, flat tire change, jump start, water to fill radiator, and the use of a cell phone for additional assistance if needed.
“In Tangipahoa Parish, our people are always on the move, and it’s a great comfort to know that when motorists traveling along portions of I-12 and I-55 here in Tangipahoa run into that occasional car problem—whether it be a flat tire, an overheating radiator, or even running out of fuel—the DOTD Motorist Assistance Patrol will be available to help our people get back on the road safely. This is a great service, and we’re excited that DOTD has expanded this program into our heavily-traveled parish,” said Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller.
This program is highly effective in assisting stranded motorists in Louisiana’s largest metro areas. MAP reduces traffic congestion caused by stalled vehicles and provides safety and comfort to those stranded.
This free service, which began on September 2, provides five additional MAP trucks assigned to patrol weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the following locations.
• I-10 from Michoud (Exit 248) to I-10/ I-12/ I-59
• I-12 from LA 1249 (Exit 35) to I-10/I-12/I-59
• I-55 from Manchac (Exit 15) to LA 3234 (Exit 32)
• Support on I-10 between the I-10/I-12/I-59 and the Mississippi State Line as needed
For detailed maps of coverage areas, please visit www.dotd.la.gov