Baton Rouge: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development held a press conference to announce the start of work to widen La. 42 in Ascension Parish between La. 42 and U.S. 61. At the event, held at the Galvez Branch of the Ascension Parish Library, DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by state and local officials.
Secretary LeBas said, “We are thankful for Governor Jindal and the legislature’s commitment to improving infrastructure in this area. This project is great news for Ascension Parish and the Capital Region, because La. 42 is a critical route for residents traveling between Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes. This project will improve safety for drivers, lessen commute times and make the area more desirable for businesses in the region.”
The project will widen 3.7 miles of La. 42 from two to four lanes between U.S. 61 (Airline Highway) and La. 44 (North Burnside Avenue). In addition, a 6-foot sidewalk will be constructed on the north side of the roadway, and a 10-foot bicycle / pedestrian shared-use path will be constructed on the south side of the roadway.
Work begins this week on the first phase of the project, which includes clearing land and installing a new sewer system. The $8.7 million project, awarded to Wharten-Smith, Inc., is estimated for completion in winter 2014.
DOTD is scheduled to take bids in September for the roadway construction portion of the widening project, which is estimated to cost $20-$30 million. The anticipated completion date for the entire project is summer 2016.
This segment of La. 42 serves more than 22,000 motorists daily. It is important to residents of Ascension Parish, as well as East Baton Rouge, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes, providing access to U.S. 61 (Airline Hwy.), I-10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and I-12 between Baton Rouge and Slidell.
"This project has been a long time coming,” Sen. Jody Amedee said. “Our delegation has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to make this a reality. This improvement will help save lives and move traffic more efficiently."
“Highway 42 has been the most talked about project over the last twenty years in Ascension Parish,” said Rep. Eddie Lambert. “Ten years ago, it was all but dead and people told me it would never happen. But, because of the work of Ascension's legislative delegation over the last ten years, along with local officials and the Department of Transportation and Development, it is about to become a reality.”
“I am so proud to celebrate the beginning of the much-needed La. 42 widening project,” said Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez. “I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in bringing this project to fruition.”
For more information, please visit http://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Pages/default.aspx , email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting http://www.511la.org/ .
Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).