Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Sec. Shawn Wilson of the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and several other state and local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the I-110 Terrace Avenue. Interchange Project in East Baton Rouge Parish.  Once completed, the $8.8 million project will have a new exit ramp for Terrace Avenue. on I-110. Construction of the ramp will begin on I-110 over Myrtle Avenue, extend over Julia St. to intersect with Terrace Avenue.

“Improving the transportation infrastructure for our citizens is a top commitment and priority for my administration, and the I-110 corridor is vital to both East Baton Rouge Parish and the state,” said Gov. Edwards. “DOTD and the community of East Baton Rouge Parish have been working together for the last several years to find appropriate solutions to the traffic issues along the interstate system in this region. I want to thank Sec. Wilson and his staff for getting this project underway and their approach to having an open ear to ideas from the community. As a result, the new exit at Terrace Street. will make it safer for motorists to exit I-110 and will help address the congestion caused by vehicles trying to take the exit at Washington Street.  In addition, this project is going to be crucial for the upcoming I-10 widening project in Baton Rouge.”

DOTD began discussions within the community regarding finding appropriate solutions to the traffic issues along the interstate system in the Capital Region in 2015.  The 2015-2016 feasibility study was the first step in examining improvements to the area of I-10 between the Mississippi River Bridge and the I-10/I-12 split and engaging the public. The DOTD worked with community residents and merchants to create concepts for improving the corridor.

 “We are aware that construction on the interstate, especially a highly traveled area such as this, has some motorists concerned regarding closures,” Wilson said. “We understand these concerns and are happy to say that there are no planned lane closures associated with this project, though there will be lane shifts during a portion of the construction window. This $8.8 million project on Terrace Avenue was the result the I-10 Corridor Improvement Study we conducted earlier this year for the widening of I-10. Once completed, the new Terrace Avenue exit will be beneficial for many who currently travel I-110, but just as important, this project is important to the future improvements to the interstate system in Baton Rouge.”

The second step is the Stage 1 Planning and Environmental study, which will fully evaluate the alternatives accepted to move forward from the feasibility study. The environmental study will help determine social, economic, and environmental impacts of the alternatives. The DOTD will continue to engage the public throughout the process with informational meetings that will offer an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments. Three public meetings will be scheduled for this summer in an effort to keep the community informed and engaged.

This is a significant safety project because it eliminates the need to cross three lanes of traffic to exit at Washington Street. The Washington Street exit will not be eliminated due to this additional off-ramp. Instead, this project will eliminate weaving that causes traffic backups and congestion from motorists coming off the Mississippi River Bridge. Construction will begin on August 23 and is expected to be completed by July 2019.