I-10 Traffic in Baton Rouge to Become Much Worse, For Good Reason
It looks like travel issues along I-10 in Baton Rouge will soon get much worse, but it's for good reason.
According to a post on the Frustrated Commuters in LA Capital Region group page on Facebook, improvements to I-10 in Baton Rouge will be throwing a wrench in the commute come 2023.
Work on widening I-10 through Baton Rouge has been underway for a few years now, and it will be at least another 4 years before the work is completed. I must admit, the portions of the widening project that have been completed are making the drive into Baton Rouge from points east quite nice.
Has it been a headache up to this point? In some places: yes. Now some motorists are preparing for a much larger headache.
The next improvement on I-10 in Baton Rouge will be making the interstate 4 lanes in each direction between I-110 and the S. Acadian Thruway exit.
In a recent post on the Frustrated Commuters in LA Capital Region page, Blaine Rabalais shares what he learned about upcoming temporary changes to traffic on I-10:
Please don’t shoot the messenger! But I just educated myself on the future “one lane” closed in each direction on I-10 in Baton Rouge. It’s not just a simple one lane closed in each direction. They have planned BOTH East and West bound traffic to travel in the current Westbound lanes. From the new bridge to Acadian. Yes on the New Bridge they want to bust the wall and have eastbound traffic move to the west bound lanes. For at least 2 years. - Blaine Rabalais, via Facebook
According to the post, there will be vehicles traveling in BOTH directions in the westbound lanes of I-10, for approximately one year.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has a website called i10br.com. On that website, they outline the upcoming projects they are calling "Segment 1 Extension" of I-10 between the Lobdell Exit (Hwy 415) and Essen Lane.
Graphics on that website show where the eastbound traffic will be traveling in the westbound lanes of I-10 to allow for construction on the eastbound lanes between "Devil's Triangle" and S Acadian Thruway.
According to the DOTD, it appears that the westbound side of the overpass will have a temporary lane added to accommodate four 4 lanes of travel. Once the widening is complete, traffic from the eastbound lanes of I-10 will be diverted to the westbound lanes until after the overpass, then will be diverted back to the eastbound lanes.
And, according to Rabalais' post, this change will remain in place for approximately 2 years, but the post from DOTD says that the traffic diversion will only be for one year.
The work will include reducing I-10 to two travel lanes in each direction for an estimated total of one year during the planned four-year construction beginning in 2024. - DOTD, I10BR.com
I totally understand that improvements will cause inconveniences, and this situation is no different.
Was there frustration being expressed on social media? You betcha. Check it:
Frustration galore. Even frustration with some of the options that DOTD is looking at to "alleviate" some of the traffic issues that will accompany the project:
The thought of traveling those two miles with no shoulder has some people reaching for their BP meds"
Road rage is about to happen, and we're still a year away from the changes. "Sweet fancy Moses riding a raft" might be my favorite quote from this story yet!
And this lady has the perfect solution: head west!
I don't have to travel to Baton Rouge very often, and now it looks like I will be avoiding it even more.
When I am stuck in construction I always try to look on the bright side and I envision how much smoother driving through Baton Rouge will be once the construction is complete.
Will this be a headache? Yes. Will it be worth it? That is my hope.