NEW IBERIA, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that it has started work on a $5.8 million project to construct frontage roads along a 2.97 section of I-49 South between Darnall Road and La. 85 in Iberia Parish.
More than $193 million has been dedicated to I-49 South. Of that funding, the Jindal administration has invested approximately $120.9 million toward the completion of this vital corridor.
DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas said, “I am elated to know that the construction of this project, along with other I-49 South projects, is aiding in propelling Louisiana’s infrastructure into the future, which in turn helps to strengthen economic growth throughout Louisiana.”
The total I-49 South corridor includes approximately 160 miles of roadway, of which more than 100 miles have been completed or are currently under construction. The state is committed to continuing to move forward with its efforts for the completion of this vital corridor.
The I-49 South project will convert U.S. 90 from Lafayette to New Orleans into an interstate-quality roadway, ultimately providing improved travel throughout the state and nation.
U.S. 90 is currently four lanes from Lafayette to New Orleans. In the future, access will only be available at interchanges. Therefore, motorists will be able to merge into traffic at relatively the same speed, as opposed to coming to a complete stop in the crossover and attempting to cross two lanes of highway traffic.
This project will improve access to several transportation facilities in the immediate vicinity, including the Lafayette Regional Airport, the ports of Iberia, West St. Mary and Morgan City, Amtrak and the Louisiana & Delta Railroad.
Additionally, this segment of U.S. 90 is already a major industrial corridor in Louisiana that will expand significantly with better highway access. Major employers in the area include Chevron Corporation; Oceaneering International, Inc.; Tidewater Marine, LLC; Dynamic Industries, Inc. and McDermott International.
Other frontage road projects helping to advance the I-49 South corridor project include:
• $10.7 million project which built new frontage roads on U.S. 90 at the interchanges of La. 675 and La. 88.
• $7.5 million project along U.S. 90 between John Darnall Road and La. 85 is scheduled to be let to bid in May 2012. This project will also construct new frontage roads significant to the upgrade of US 90 to the future I-49 interstate standards.
Since Governor Jindal has been in office, more than $88 million in transportation projects have been invested in Iberia Parish. An additional investment made in Iberia Parish includes the recently completed interchange at La. 85. Totaling $24.5 million, the interchange at U.S. 90 and La. 85 was elevated to I-49 standards by creating two new parallel overpasses on U.S. 90 over La. 85. The design-build project improved traffic flow and highway safety.
“The upgrading of U.S. 90 to interstate standards will not only aid in the economic growth of Iberia Parish, but of the entire Acadiana region,” said State Senator Fred Mills.
“I-49 South corridor projects such as this increase safety, improve evacuation routes and open the door for economic development opportunities,” said State Representative Simone Champagne.
Awarded to Gilchrist Construction, work on the project began in August 2012 and is estimated to be completed in 2013.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, the department is able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Custom 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 www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).