The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Sherri H. LeBas today participated in a ceremony to celebrate the completion of a project that widened I-12 from four to six lanes in Slidell. The ceremony was held at the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Administrative Building, where LeBas was joined by state and local officials for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.
“We are thankful for Gov. Jindal and the legislature’s commitment to widening I-12 in Slidell,” LeBas said. “This project is a welcomed improvement and will allow for safer, more efficient travel for the 70,000-plus drivers who use this road each day. This project will not only make I-12 a safer and more reliable corridor for the residents of Slidell, but will also help to boost our economy by making it more attractive for new businesses to relocate to the area.”
The project widened I-12 from four to six lanes from the I-10/I-12/I-59 interchange to just west of Vincent’s Bayou Bridge. In addition, the I-12 eastbound off-ramp to Northshore Boulevard was widened from one to two lanes, and a deceleration lane was added at the I-12 westbound off-ramp to Airport Road.
Since Gov. Jindal took office in 2008, over $4.6 billion has been invested on infrastructure projects statewide. Specific attention has been paid to improve major corridors like I-12, where spending over the last four-plus years has totaled over $257 million.
I-12 in Slidell serves a fast-growing area of suburban communities, many of which use this roadway to commute to work in New Orleans each day. In addition, this section of roadway serves as an access point to Slidell’s airport, and major railroads managed by Northfolk South Railroad and Amtrak.
I-12 is also a vital route to medical centers such as Slidell Memorial Hospital, Northshore Regional Medical Center and Trinity Neurological Rehabilitation Center. The completion of this project will have a positive impact for the thousands of patients and employees traveling to these medical centers each day by reducing congestion and allowing for faster travel times.
In addition, the new lanes will allow other major businesses in the Slidell area, such as Thompson Packers, Inc., ECO Builders, and Sunbelt Innovative Plastics, to more efficiently serve their customers by decreasing congestion.
Construction of the $25.7 million project was funded entirely with 2008 surplus funds. The contractor for the project was James Construction Group LLC of Baton Rouge. Work began in March 2011.