FOUR CORNERS, La. (KLFY) – The new interchange at U.S. Highway 90 and LA 318 in St. Mary Parish is now open.

The DOTD spent $55.7 million on improving the corridor which includes frontage roads.

Work on the project – located in the Four Corners area just south of Jeanerette – began in July 2015.

On April 27, DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson and Gov. John Bel Edwards attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Earlier this year, Dr. Wilson talked to News 10 about how important the project is to the future I-49 South corridor.

“It’s going to be a really big benefit in terms of safety because that was a real hot spot for us in terms of lives lost and that’s always a problem,” Wilson said.

Gov. Edwards said the project is an important one for drivers. He said the corridor also serves as an evacuation route.

About 20 miles south of the interchange – the DOTD installed more than 30 J-turns between Calumet and Berwick – to make U.S. 90 safer.

“Actually with 318 opening, we’re going to have, I think, 42 miles of uninterrupted interstate to interstate standards,” Wilson said. “And that’s going to be tremendous in terms of getting through that corridor.”

Officials said the LA 318 interchange will make the corridor safer. It will also help with economic growth – and gives industry access to the ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans.