Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the opening of six lanes of traffic on I-12 between Juban Road and La. 447 (Walker South Road) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Livingston Parish. The opening comes as a result of a $21.9 million project funded by the state to widen 3.2 miles of I-12 from four to six lanes. In total, the Jindal Administration has committed more $341 million to improving I-10 and I-12 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.
Governor Jindal said, "Since 2008, we've invested an unprecedented $5.6 billion on projects to improve our state's infrastructure. We've committed these dollars because we know it is critical for our infrastructure to keep up with the continued growth of the Capital Region, and this project helps us ensure we have the infrastructure needed to spur more economic growth. This widening project will speed up commutes for area residents on I-12, making this region more attractive for businesses that want to invest and create jobs, and most importantly, it will make this route safer for Louisiana families."
The opening of this segment marks the third project to widen I-12 in the Baton Rouge area under the Geaux Wider Program. The first $110 million project widened I-12 from four to six lanes between O'Neal Lane in Baton Rouge to Pete's Highway in Denham Springs. Work on this 3.2-mile project began in April 2009 and finished in June 2012. The second $36.2 million project, also in Denham Springs, widened 2.1-miles of I-12 from four to six lanes between Pete's Highway and Juban Road. Work began in August 2010 and finished in June 2012.
"We are so thrilled to now have six lanes of traffic open on I-12 between Baton Rouge and Walker," said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. "The widened interstate will have a positive impact on the more than 46,000 drivers who use this corridor every day to travel between home and work."
I-12 is a major route between Baton Rouge and Mississippi, serving a growing area of commercial development, industrial operations and residential communities, including Our Lady of the Lake Livingston in Walker, which sees an average of 100 patents per day in its emergency room.
Plans for I-12 continue as DOTD accepted bids on a $26.5 million project to widen I-12 from four to six lanes from Walker to a half mile west of Satsuma. Construction on this segment will begin in February 2014 and will take approximately one year to complete.