Lafayette — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., as well as local and state officials, to celebrate the completion of the Albertson Parkway widening project in Lafayette Parish.

“The economic value of this project is profound and will have a lasting effect on the way Louisiana does business by providing better mobility throughout the Acadiana area and fast tracking travel from Lafayette to New Orleans," said Gov. Edwards. "By providing easier access to these areas, we are creating an opportunity for local businesses to grow and encouraging further investment into the Louisiana economy.”

This $63.7 million project consisted of widening U.S. 90 from four to six lanes from Albertson Parkway to north of the Ambassador Caffery intersection. Additionally, an overpass was constructed along U.S.90 above Albertson Parkway, as well as a new railroad overpass, and modifications to the adjacent frontage roads, which included the reconstruction LA 182 from Albertson Parkway to LA 96.

“The condition of our infrastructure is crucial to the way Louisianans travel and conduct business. With the completion of the Albertson Parkway project, we will see significant improvements in connectivity and mobility for the surrounding region. These changes are not only beneficial to residents, but also imperative to the goals of the Geaux South program, which will eventually extend I-49 southbound to connect Lafayette and New Orleans,” said Sec. Wilson.

The Geaux South program is a major construction initiative that will transform the U.S. 90 corridor into Interstate 49 South. The 160-mile interstate highway will stretch from the I-10/ I-49 North junction in Lafayette to the Westbank Expressway in New Orleans. All planned projects and phases in the Geaux South program represent an approximate $2 billion investment in upgrading and improving Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure.

“As Chairman of Senate Transportation and the district Senator for this project, I am happy to see the completion of this project as a sign of progress on the important I-49S corridor," said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Page Cortez. "The ability for businesses and residents to travel this stretch without disruption and enhanced utility should be celebrated.”

“The completion of this project will mean improved traffic flow through this corridor and the increase of economic vitality for the community of Broussard and Lafayette Parish," said Rep. Stuart Bishop. "I look forward to the continued progress on the entire I-49S corridor and what it will mean for the entire Acadiana region.”

“The completion of the Albertson Parkway project is invaluable to the residents of the Broussard and Lafayette areas. The widening of U.S. 90 has streamlined travel throughout the region and opened an avenue for businesses to grow larger than the infrastructure previously allowed," said House Transportation Committee Chair Terry Landry. "This project has also allowed us to complete many of the pre-requisite specifications that we will need as we move closer to our goal of expanding I-49 southbound to New Orleans."

Currently this corridor sees more than 42,000 motorists a day, though this is expected to increase to 67,000 vehicles in the next 20 years.

James Construction, CH Fenstermaker, Huval & Associates, Terracon, Urban Systems, AECOM, and ATC were the quality and design build team on this project, which began in August 2014.

(Press Release sent to KPEL News)