Drivers in the Interstate 10/Highland Road area of Baton Rouge will soon notice two temporary but important traffic changes as part of the On the Greaux project to widen I-10 from four to six lanes between Highland and La. 73 in Ascension Parish.
At 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 16, all I-10 westbound traffic between Bayou Manchac and Highland are scheduled to shift onto newly constructed lanes in the footprint of the interstate median. Vehicles will be able to exit at Highland or continue on a newly constructed I-10 bridge above Highland. Once traffic clears the bridge, vehicles will shift back to the existing configuration.
The second big change occurs on Monday, June 17, when nightly closures of Highland at I-10 will begin through July 8 as crews begin demolition of the existing westbound I-10 overpass over Highland. The closures will take place each night at 9 p.m., and all lanes of Highland will re-open the next day at 5 a.m.
Crews must shift the interstate traffic to demolish the overpass. The schedules for the shift and closures are tentative, depending upon the weather.
To accommodate the shift, one lane of I-10 westbound will be closed at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 15, to re-stripe the travel lanes and set barriers. The westbound Highland exit also will be closed for about four hours overnight to accommodate new lane striping. The Saturday night closure will end at 9 a.m. Sunday, when the traffic shift begins.
This short animated video depicts what travelers can expect.
The two existing I-10 overpasses at Highland are being replaced with a single, taller bridge, a portion of which has already been constructed and will carry traffic during the westbound shift. The new bridge is being built in three segments to allow a continuous flow of traffic during construction. Each segment will be tied together, shoulder-to-shoulder, during construction.
The existing westbound overpass demolition should be complete by July 8, when crews will begin constructing the second segment of the new bridge over Highland. Once the second segment is completed, eastbound and westbound traffic will shift again to make way for demolition of the existing eastbound overpass.
Meanwhile, construction continues on the Ascension Parish phase of the project, where new travel lanes are being built in the footprint of the existing median. The new travel lane construction in Ascension Parish and the new bridge at Highland Road should be finished at about the same time, in the summer of 2020, when the project is scheduled to be completed.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and On the Greaux urge drivers to exercise caution when driving through work zones. Obey post speed limits, eliminate distractions such as talking or texting on a cell phone, stay alert for changing traffic patterns, and always wear your seat belt.
On the Greaux is DOTD project to widen I-10 from four to six lanes between Baton Rouge and La. 73 in Ascension Parish. Go to www.onthegreaux.com, where you can subscribe to updates and follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.