BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Officials held a panel at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to discuss the I-10 widening project on Thursday, Jan. 12. East Baton Rouge Director of Transportation Fred Raiford spoke about the many ways his department is working to ease the inevitable traffic frustration.
“Our goal is to provide more and more information out to the public to be sure they know what’s going on,” Raiford said.
The project’s goal is to ease congestion on the interstate but many worry about traffic during construction.
“We use the interstate as a local roadway, that’s a fact. I mean our numbers have shown that but the only thing I have to tell you is that you may have to find another local roadway,” Raiford said.
He shared that improvement projects will be complete by next year, including fiber-optic cables for communication, signal upgrades and traffic monitoring cameras.
“Those cameras are not to watch what you’re doing in an intersection, I can assure you that, it’s to watch what the car is doing and how fast it’s going,” Raiford said.
James Taylor, the senior planner for Franklin Associates, LLC and communications consultant to the COREX10 design team serving DOTD on this project, said they are also addressing noise concerns.
“The entire corridor will be lined with noise walls, most of it will be clear acrylic,” Taylor said.
Raiford said while they are working hard to ease the traffic pain for the locals, he knows the inconvenience will span farther.
“I got to take care of East Baton Rouge Parish, because that’s where we live at that’s what we deal with but I also know that there is a lot of traffic that comes from Livingston, there is a whole lot of traffic coming from Ascension and also from Iberville Parish,” Raiford said.
Officials are working on programs such as alternate routes and encouraging carpooling to keep people off the road.
“Secretary (Shawn) Wilson has been working with the state agencies to encourage them to adopt alternate work schedules or flex schedules, so maybe they work three days in the office,” said Taylor.