The Department of Transportation announces they will soon begin the process of widening Interstate 10 between the I-49 interchange and the Atchafalaya Basin. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says this area of the interstate is heavily trafficked by freight trucks. He believes widening the road to three lanes in both directions will alleviate congestion.

“Every chance we can remove vehicular traffic from truck traffic, it makes it safer for everyone. This is a very important segment that 60,000 people a day travel through,” Wilson said.

Wilson says a $60 million federal FASTLANE grant will pay for the repaving and widening of I-10. He says there are a lot of transportation improvements needed in Louisiana, but this project best fits the criteria for this award.

“It was the only project that we had that was eligible for this pot of money that will allow us to stretch our dollars further and wider here in Louisiana,” Wilson said.

Wilson says this federal grant frees up state dollars to be used for other highway improvements. He says construction to widen I-10 should begin in January, and both lanes will remain open during the roadwork.

“That’s one of the really important things from a safety and a convenience perspective is to ensure that the normal mobility patterns aren’t totally disrupted with construction,” Wilson said.