ROADS/BRIDGES: U.S. DOT finalizes $60 million federal grant to widen I-10 in Louisiana

Sept. 9, 2016

The federal grant will free up state funds for several construction projects in Louisiana

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) put the final touches on a $60 million grant Wednesday, Sept. 7, to repave and add a third lane to a 15-mile stretch of I-10 between the Atchafalaya Floodway bridge and the Interstate 49 interchange in Lafayette, La.

Louisiana's congressional delegation pressed the agency for the funds in an April letter after Gov. John Bel Edwards had applied for them.

The money comes from U.S. DOT's FASTLANE grant program.

The project will be done in two phases, according to a statement Thursday from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

That latest infusion of federal money frees up state funds to speed along several idling construction projects, including the construction of a new I-10 exit ramp onto Washington Street in Baton Rouge to relieve congestion on one of the state's more notorious sections of highway. Edwards announced in August he would set aside as much as $25 million in state money for that project.

The state will also free funds to connect Loyola Avenue to New Orleans' new airport now under construction and to improve railroad crossings in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, according to the congressional letter.

Edwards also announced that the state had begun an environmental assessment to install an off-ramp at Terrace Street. Construction on that would start sometime in the next two years.