Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Sec. Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., as well as local and state officials, for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction on phase II of the Pecue Lane/ I-10 Interchange Project in Baton Rouge.

“Thanks to the efforts of DOTD and our partnerships with local government and the congressional delegation, we have been able to make this major improvement to the Pecue Lane I-10 corridor,” said Gov. Edwards.  “East Baton Rouge continues to see tremendous growth, and by investing in projects like this we can improve the safety and efficiency for thousands of motorists who travel this road daily.  This is another example of how we must continue to meet the needs of our residents and business owners so that Louisiana can prosper.”

The second phase is a $13.6 million project that consists of building Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls on both sides of I-10 and replacing the existing two lane bridge with two multi-lane bridges. This is part of a multi-phase interchange project in East Baton Rouge City Parish Government’s Green Light Plan, a transportation improvement program designed to construct road projects throughout the Parish.

“I remember having meetings on this project over 10 years ago and am happy to have been in a position to take the initiative that made this possible. By breaking this project into multiple phases, DOTD was able to prioritize funding with the City of Baton Rouge in order to get this started. Even more, when this project is completed it will offer a new, modernized interchange design called a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). I am certain this community will be very proud of this new design because of the safety benefits it presents,” said Secretary Wilson.

“This project will reduce congestion and increase connectivity while maximizing convenience for commuters and residents during construction. The current overpass will remain open until the new one is complete and ready for use,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “City-Parish, state and federal partners showed great leadership in moving this project forward.”

“Construction of the interchange at I-10 and Pecue Lane is a great example of what can be accomplished through federal, state and local cooperation and will offer a solution to part of the crushing, daily traffic problems in fast-growing southeast Baton Rouge,” said State Rep. Paula Davis (R-Baton Rouge).

Currently, there is over roughly 41,000 motorists who travel Pecue Lane, with over 92,000 vehicles on this section of I-10 daily. In the next 20 years, this is projected to increase to 63,000 vehicles daily on Pecue Lane and over 136,000 on I-10.

Phase III of the project, which is currently in the pre-construction phase, will widen Pecue Lane from two to four lanes between Perkins Road and Airline Highway, reconstruct the KCS railroad crossing, replace the Ward Creek Bridge, construct I-10 on-off ramps to Pecue Lane, and open the Diverging Diamond Interchange, which is one of the first interchanges of its kind in Louisiana. Additionally, a connector road, Reiger Road, will be fully constructed to connect Industriplex to Pecue Lane.

The contractor, James Construction, began work on this project August 2019. Construction is estimated to be completed late 2020, weather dependent.