LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The DOTD is simultaneously working on widening two sections of Interstate 10 including the bridges.
Crews are currently laying asphalt in the middle of the highway. The traffic pattern will change in a few months once the inside lanes are done.
“We’ll be moving traffic all onto the new pavement so we can start demolition and rebuilding the outside lanes,” said DOTD District Administrator Bill Oliver.
The seven mile long section from I-49 to the Breaux Bridge exit costs $128 million. Crews are widening I-10 from two to three lanes in both directions.
The three and-a-half mile stretch of I-10 from Henderson to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge has a $56 million price tag.
I-10 westbound will be widened from two to three lanes. I-10 eastbound will remain two lanes, but the pavement will be removed and repaved.
The project includes two new roundabouts in Henderson.
The DOTD said the two roundabouts at the Henderson exit should be open by the middle of September. Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette said that will be a good thing once drivers get used to them.
“Now they have roundabouts just about everywhere you go now. So the people understand it better than in the past,” Collette said.
Collette said the road work that started over a year ago has been confusing and frustrating for residents and visitors.
On August 17, an 18-wheeler hit a safety barrier in the I-10 construction zone, overturned, and spilled chemicals on the interstate.
“Luckily the barriers were there,” explained Oliver. “If the barriers had not been there he would have probably ran right into the middle of the construction crew.”
The interstate had to be shut down which caused a traffic nightmare in Henderson. It didn’t help that nearly a mile of the levee road LA 352 is only one lane because the road is crumbling.
“At the red light here they were backed up to the Catholic Church, probably an hour and a half either way,” Collette said.
The two sections currently under construction should be done in summer 2020.
The DOTD said the third section of I-10 from Breaux Bridge to Henderson will be put out for bid in fall 2019.