Gov. John Bel Edwards, along with Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. and state and local officials, broke ground today on the third phase of the I-10 widening project in St. Martin Parish.
"This widening is essential for the Acadiana region," said Gov. Edwards. "This is a major freight corridor and connector that serves area residents as well as thousands of out-of-state travelers. This expansion will not only bolster the region’s ability to handle the heavy traffic but will also help grow the economy of this area and the state."
This $87.7 million project will widen I-10 from four to six lanes between LA 328 in Breaux Bridge to LA 347 near Henderson. This will also include removing the two existing I-10 bridges over Melvin Dupuis Road and replacing them at ground level. Once completed, a two lane bridge serving as Melvin Dupuis Road will be constructed over the interstate. Additionally, 54-inch concrete median barriers will be installed in portions of the project corridor, as well as raised markers and rumble strips.
“This phase is part of a larger project to widen and provide nearly 15 miles of new pavement from I-49 to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. When completed, the 2 percent of poor- or very poor- pavement on I-10 from state line to state line will be less than 1 percent. This expansion is another example of what can be accomplished when we have an administration that makes infrastructure and the transportation needs of residents a priority,” said Secretary Wilson.
“I am happy to see the third phase of this I-10 widening project break ground. An updated infrastructure system is crucial for the economy of Louisiana and this nearly 15 miles of widened interstate will provide an immense benefit to motorists, the industry, and residents in this area. It is projects like this that move the state forward. I look forward to seeing how this will benefit the Lafayette and St. Martin areas,” said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Page Cortez.
“As House Transportation Committee Chairman, I am pleased to see the third phase of this widening project in St. Martin Parish begin. This is a crucial step in improving this area’s economy, as this stretch of I-10 is heavily traveled by the public, as well as the freight industry. The benefits this project will offer are immense and I look forward to seeing the completed project,” said House Transportation Committee Chairman Terry Landry.
Currently, there are over 70,000 motorists who travel this stretch of I-10 daily. By 2035, this is projected to increase to over 105,000 vehicles daily.
This 4.5 mile widening project is the final phase of the I-10 widening in Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes. The construction of I-10 from the I-49 junction to LA 328 and from LA 347 to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge began in 2017 and is anticipated to be completed next year.
The contractor, Gilchrist Construction, will begin work in November. Construction is estimated to take three years, weather dependent.