Governor Bobby Jindal broke ground today on a $21.9 million project to widen 3.2 miles of I-12 from four to six travel lanes between Juban Road and the Walker interchange. The Governor also announced that the Juban to Walker project came in under bid and the state will be using the savings to widen an additional two to three miles of I-12.
Governor Jindal said, "My number one priority as Governor is creating an environment where businesses want to invest and create jobs -- and that means investing in and improving our roads. Folks from across the nation are seeing that opportunities exist in Louisiana, and they are coming to Livingston Parish to pursue their dreams and raise a family. That's why we've invested millions to make this region more accessible to the state and the nation. This project will reduce congestion for our people and continue to boost economic growth in the region."
Governor Jindal worked with the Legislature to fund the 3.2 mile widening project during the 2012 legislative session. The project is slated to be completed in the middle of 2013.
Through the competitive bid process, the state saved approximately $14.5 million when the Juban to Walker project came in under its estimated cost. Governor Jindal announced that the state will use these savings, combined with an existing I-12 bridge federal rehabilitation project, to widen I-12 from two to three lanes from the Walker Interchange approximately two to three miles east towards Satsuma. The widening project will increase the road capacity and limit congestion for the approximate 44,000 motorists that drive this section of I-12 each day.
Governor Jindal highlighted additional I-12 projects currently under way, including a $110 million project to widen I-12 from the O'Neal Lane interchange to Pete's Highway and a $26.2 million project to widen I-12 from Pete's Highway to Juban Road. The O'Neal Lane interchange to Pete's Highway project began in early 2009 and is scheduled to be complete in the middle of 2012. The Pete's Highway to Juban Road project is scheduled to be completed in early 2012.
Since taking office in 2008, the Jindal administration has invested more than $4 billion for transportation projects throughout Louisiana. Additionally, since 2008, the Jindal administration has invested $554 million for road projects -- including I-10 and I-12 -- in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, West Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes.
In Livingston Parish alone, the Jindal administration has invested more than $220 million for transportation projects. These investments include:
* $29.5 million to replace the U.S. 190 Amite River Bridge connecting East Baton Rouge Parish and Livingston Parish. The new bridge opened to traffic in December 2010.
* $19.9 million to replace the existing two-lane La. 64 Magnolia River Bridge with a new four-lane bridge. Work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012.
"We appreciate the vision of Governor Jindal and the Legislature in making a commitment to continue widening I-12 in Livingston Parish," DOTD Secretary Sherri H. Lebas said. "Expanding the interstate between the Juban and Walker/La. 447 interchanges will enhance safety and improve traffic flow for more than 46,000 commuters who rely upon this stretch of interstate each day."
Representative J. Rogers Pope, District 71, said, "This new project is another piece to the puzzle that will help our residents get where they are going faster, and get them there safer."
Representative Bodi White, District 64, said, "It's going to help this entire region deal with the traffic we are faced with and I'm proud to be part of the Capital Region Legislative Delegation that helped get us here. We commend DOTD, the Governor and all the supporters for dedicating valuable resources to making this corridor."
Walker Mayor Bobby Font said, "I'm proud to be here for this important groundbreaking because widening I-12 to this location will open the door to economic development for this area."