ASCENSION PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — The Highway 30 Coalition says DOTD gave the notice to proceed for the Ascension Parish highway expansion project Tuesday.

The coalition says environmental studies can now begin for the design and construction of the highway expansion. Studies, which may take up to two years according to the coalition, will include traffic counts and analysis, conducting a full inventory of rights of way, and locating existing utilities and pipelines.

“The issuance of this notice to proceed is a long-awaited juncture in our efforts to expand capacity on Highway 30,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment. “Today, we are one step closer to making the expansion of this critical roadway a reality, but we intend to stay laser-focused in moving this project forward at every next step of the way.”

Once environmental studies are completed, the project would move forward with funding allocation, design process, project and bid letting, and construction.

“The Highway 30 Coalition was launched just last week to bring awareness to the importance of expanding this roadway and we will continue to press for an expedited process and funding to bring this project to fruition,” said Anthony Ramirez, spokesperson for the Highway 30 Coalition and President & CEO of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. “Currently the 8.5 miles of Highway 30 in Ascension Parish generates half a billion dollars in wages and $30 million in state income taxes a year with 7,529 employees and full-time contractors working on/around Highway 30. The Highway 30 corridor will benefit from $10 billion in upcoming announced industrial projects, which will generate over $24.1 million in new state sales tax revenue over the next two to three years, creating 2,500 new jobs.”

For more information about the highway expansion project or the Highway 30 Coalition, click here.