Proposed Rebuild of I-10 in Heart of BR Could Take 23 Years! There Is a Better Plan!

By Coleman Brown, Architect and Chairman of Infrastructure Committee, ChamberEBR

Six years ago, our small business chamber of commerce — the Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish — initiated the new $9.3 million I -110 Terrace exit to stop the one vehicle per minute conflicts at Washington’s exit. It was completed 20 months ago, but DOTD refuses to restrict the worst exit in America. There is ample unused pavement  and open space to add three or four more lanes, why just one lane for 57 years? 

EBR population has declined the last 10 years. Covid slashed traffic. Undaunted,  DOTD proposes to demolish almost four miles of I-10 in the heart of Baton Rouge. At first construction time was 5 years, then 10, now it’s 23. Pre-pandemic estimates exceeded  $1.1 Billion with $350 million in bonds sold.  Of 960 massive columns, only 200 will be reused. How will  100,000 vehicles daily continue flowing?  No wonder Injury attorneys offices are on the interstate.  

DOTD’s plan demolishes the award winning  City Park bridges and doubles their width with 14 foot tall concrete sound barriers. How will that  look with the Lakes beautification? The Perkins ramps are eliminated, shifting to  Acadian. Perkins carries more traffic than Acadian and has two less traffic lights than Acadian, which floods even with new pumps. They also replace the Nairn bridge connecting Valley Park and Southdowns . Their website says it will be reconstructed “over the summer- depending on the rain” – which we can depend on.  

At first DOTD impacted 46 properties, then it was 77, now it’s 111. Twenty two years ago, a far less destructive plan was soundly defeated by residents in open debate, which was not allowed this time.  

DOTD fails to address the short entrance/ exit backups at the I -12 / Airline cloverleaf. This can be fixed by replacing the east west clovers with two $20 million flyovers.  

Our I -10 plan cost around $80 million and can be finished in three (3) years. See it at Key features include five elevated lanes eastbound to the lakes, not moving the LSU Dalrymple exit a mile north like DOTD. We keep all four bridges and impact under 10 properties. Very few columns are modified and we provide an emergency vehicle station at the foot of the bridge. We extend both Perkins and Acadian entrance ramps to the required lengths.  

Wreckers say reverse direction towing would cut response time in half. Truck and speed lanes work on the Atchafalyia, why not BR?  Widen Airline completely and Connect I-12 with underutilized 8 lane Florida Boulevard via Range in Denham Springs. Other states provide first responder continuing ed and issue fines for running out of gas. Increase use of the Old Bridge.  Build a new south bridge with the $1 Billion saved.  

Fix the long-standing choke points, without wholesale destruction of Baton Rouge.  

Coleman Brown 

Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge 

Infrastructure Chairman  

6554 Florida Boulevard 

Suite 233 

Baton Rouge, La.           

70806     Cell 225-636-9080 

225-636-9080 c 


Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!