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 ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction on the LA 22/ LA 70 Interchange Project in Ascension Parish.
“Building infrastructure and preserving our transportation system is of the utmost importance to my administration, and it is always a pleasure to see the state and local governments working together to make Louisiana a better place to live and visit,” said Gov. Edwards. “The purpose of this project is to improve the safety and efficiency of traffic along LA 22 from I-10 to its intersection with LA 70. These j-turns will greatly mitigate traffic congestion along this vital corridor for thousands of motorists and many industries on both sides of the Mississippi River.”
This $5.6 million project consisted of upgrading the three legged intersection of LA 22 and LA 70 into a multi-lane roundabout with sidewalks and installing four j-turns with left turn lanes near the I-10 and LA 22 interchanges. Additionally, a traffic signal was installed at the j-turn farthest to the west of LA 22 and the left-turn lane from LA 22 eastbound to the I-10 westbound entrance ramp was extended approximately 400 feet.
“Safety is our top priority, which is why this Department works closely with state and local officials to meet the needs of the community,” said Secretary Wilson. “This project was critical to improving the safety and efficiency of traffic along LA 22 from I-10 to its intersection with LA 70. Traffic would back up on I-10 as the result of motorists not being able to turn into businesses on LA 22. These j-turns, as well as the roundabout, will provide a smoother commute, as well as reduce traffic congestion in the area.”
“I am proud to work with our state leaders and local leaders to continue to make smart investments and make transportation infrastructure a priority,” said Speaker Clay Schexnayder. “The redesign of LA70/LA22 improves mobility along this busy route and will enhance the safety for motorist who take this route each day. This is a good start to widening LA70 to the Sunshine Bridge.”
“I used to dread traveling through the Hwy 70 and 22 intersection. It was truly one of the worst intersections in Ascension Parish,” said Senator Eddie Lambert. “Traffic would back up onto the interstate, on Hwy 22 and Hwy 70. The new roundabout is truly phenomenal. It has solved one of Ascension's worst traffic nightmares. DOTD hit a home run with this project."
Currently, there is over 21,000 motorists who travel this corridor. In the next 20 years, this is projected to increase over 28,000 vehicles daily.
“This new modern design is intended to improve safety and efficiency at this busy intersection,” said Representative Kathy Edmonston. “Our goal is simple, to improve safety and traffic flow and improvements such as these will play a major role in fulfilling both of those goals.”
“One of the pillars of my administration is to get traffic moving in Ascension Parish,” said Parish President Clint Cointment. “The 22/70 intersection has always been a huge traffic bottleneck, which this roundabout will mitigate tremendously. I am very grateful for the assistance and cooperation we receive from LADOTD to solve problems and increase traffic flow.”
The contractor, Barriere Construction, began work on this project August 2018.