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Author Topic: I-10 in Baton Rouge  (Read 2214 times)

Plutonic Panda

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I-10 in Baton Rouge
« on: February 07, 2022, 10:12:34 AM »

As many here know, I-10 is being upgraded in this city. I haven’t heard about a new Mississippi River Bridge but the other freeway segments are being widened to at least 3 lanes each way with other 4 lanes each way.

Quote
BATON ROUGE, La. - Scope of I-10 Segment 1 is Expanding, Community Open House Events Project Update and Input Opportunities Baton Rouge - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has expanded Segment 1 of the I-10 Improvements Project in Baton Rouge to include the Acadian Thruway interchange.

Expanding the work area eastward to include Acadian will result in significant time and cost savings for the project. This expansion is estimated to save $50 million for the project and shave off four years from the overall timeline. Once completed, there will be four lanes in each direction from the I-10/I-110 split to Acadian.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 with major lane restrictions [NO1] beginning in 2024. The expansion will include reducing I-10 to two travel lanes in each direction for an estimated total of one year during the planned four-year construction beginning in 2024. DOTD is working to mitigate the traffic issues resulting from the two-lane phasing by implementing traffic mitigation projects on surface streets, such as restriping and signal modifications and active signal management in the surrounding areas.

https://www.wafb.com/2022/02/04/dotd-shows-scope-i-10i-110-expansion-asks-community-input/
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 11:11:32 AM by Plutonic Panda »
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2022, 12:02:49 PM »

Looks like WAFB simply cut and pasted the LADOTD official announcement:

http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/announcements/Announcement.aspx?key=29152

This is basically Phase 1 of the widening of I-10 through Baton Rouge; it originally ran from the I-10/I-110 Split to the Perkins Road/CP-KCS overpass, but was extended to past the Acadian Thruway interchange to save time and money. Phase 2 takes on the area from Acadian to the I-10/I-12 Split to Essen Lane.

The new Mississippi River Bridge is a separate project not affiliated with I-10.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2022, 12:28:02 PM »

Thanks for the information. Do you know more about the Mississippi River bridge? That is sorely needed but surely will cost a pretty penny.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2022, 07:10:17 PM »

From what I can tell, the new Mississippi River Bridge is supposed to be located near Addis south of Port Allen, and serve as an arterial connector between LA 1 on the west side and LA 30 on the eastern side. It's also meant to accompany the proposed extension of LA 415 from the I-10 interchange south and east to LA 1, where it will meet the connection crossing the river.

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rte66man

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2022, 09:20:46 AM »

From the Louisiana Illuminator:
https://lailluminator.com/2022/09/26/baton-rouge-traffic-study-shows-locals-create-interstate-congestion/

Quote
Baton Rouge traffic study shows locals create interstate congestion

Public sentiment about origin of traffic is misplaced, data shows

The results from a traffic pattern analysis released Monday for the Greater Baton Rouge Mississippi River Bridge South project surprised some experts and officials. Its findings indicate local drivers account for the vast majority of the 126,000 vehicles who cross the Interstate 10 bridge.

The Capital Area Road and Bridge District Commission met Monday to receive data from the first phase of a study for a new bridge to relieve the heavily congested span of interstate between Port Allen and the Interstate 12 junction.

Atlas Technical Consultants, the engineering firm conducting the study for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), has narrowed potential locations for a bypass bridge across the river to three sites, down from 32 proposals when the study began in July 2020. All three are in Iberville Parish just south of Plaquemine. 

Atlas Technical’s Kara Moree told commissioners the firm consulted with several other experts and used traffic signal data, cell phone location data and existing models to complete its analysis.

The study found an average of more than 63,000 vehicles cross the bridge in each direction every day. A relatively small percentage are motorists passing through, Moree said.

The large majority, 87% of the traffic between the Acadian Thruway exit and the I-10/I-12 split is local,  meaning the vehicles are not just passing through toward New Orleans or Lafayette. That pattern holds for the entire Greater Baton Rouge region, in which 80% of the motorists on the interstate are local drivers beginning or ending their trips in the five-parish area that encompasses all of East Baton Rouge and Ascension and parts of West Baton Rouge, Iberville and Livingston.

About 90% of the daily motorists on I-10 between the Ascension Parish line and Bluebonnet Boulevard are local drivers, along with 85% of those on I-12 between the split and the O’Neal Lane exit. Large trucks account for 15% of the traffic, according to the findings.

Moree admitted the data surprised her, given the general sentiment expressed during public meetings for the bridge project.

“What we saw from the public meetings, the general conception is usually that through-trips probably make up 50% or more,” Moree said. “I’m making that number up, but that’s what I would’ve thought [until] I first saw this data.”

Commissioner Hank Grace, the Bridge District commissioner from Iberville Parish, said he also expected drastically different numbers.

“The numbers are quite surprising on some of them,” Grace said. “I just had no idea.”

Another finding that stood out: approximately 62% of the eastbound I-10 bridge traffic comes from vehicles traveling on LA 1 and LA 415 and merging onto the I-10 bridge. Moree said a new bridge at one of the three sites in Iberville Parish will divert about half of the vehicles feeding the eastbound bridge congestion from LA 1 and accommodate approximately 24,000 vehicles daily with no major impacts to the City of Plaquemine.

Moree told the commission that Atlas has completed 99% of its work on the first phase of the study and planning while using only 71% of the money allocated for the work.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said he was pleased with the report and the efficiency of the work. The findings validate DOTD’s initial assessment that Baton Rouge motorists use the interstate for short local commutes rather than long-distance travel, he said.

Atlas anticipates it will finish its assessment and try to obtain federal approval for the bridge by summer 2024, Moree said.

The Louisiana Legislature set aside $300 million for the bridge to help meet the match requirements of federal infrastructure grants that the state will need to fund most of the project.
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Chris

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2022, 07:45:51 AM »

Is this really surprising?

If you take a look at your own travel patterns, you will likely notice that most of your trips are in your own region, it's not like people take a 200 mile trip every other day.

Truck traffic patterns are different (more likely to be long-distance), but folks also underestimate how many trucks just serve the needs of a single urban area. Most of what is consumed in Baton Rouge or any other metropolitan area needs to be picked up or delivered by truck. Many of those are local / regional drivers. Most stores are supplied through a regional distribution center, not from 4 states away.

Urban Prairie Schooner

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2022, 10:36:32 AM »

Just from my experience it appears that a fair number of trucks on I-10/12 in BR have destinations in the BR area, but are originating from out of the area. This is especially true for trucks serving major retailers. For example the closest Target distribution center is near Tyler TX, there is the Hobby Lobby distribution center in Oklahoma City, and of course there are the various Walmart distribution centers (closet ones to us are Opelousas and Robert LA).

I think regardless of trucker origins it would be nice to have a means of removing some trucks from I-10 and I-12. Even having an alternate route for the small number of through trucks would make a big difference.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2022, 03:47:13 PM »

Are there any plans to widen Interstate 10 to six lanes west of Interstate 110?
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froggie

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2022, 06:12:34 PM »

Are there any plans to widen Interstate 10 to six lanes west of Interstate 110?

It's already 6 lanes over the river.  Maybe do a little more research before asking?
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roadman65

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2022, 06:32:06 PM »

I looked at the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge and it does need widening.  Despite it being 6 lanes, it does lack shoulders. Plus a lane drop on the west approach at La 1 where the third lane defaults to the exit should really be extended a little beyond the bridge.

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2022, 08:40:49 PM »

re. article:

I guess it's good that a lot of the traffic on I-10 in BR is local. That seems to indicate (at least for me) that when the new Mississippi River bridge south of I-10 is built, it will take off quite a big load off of the I-10 bridge. That leaves I-10 for the cross-country traffic.

Alps

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2022, 06:31:25 PM »

Are there any plans to widen Interstate 10 to six lanes west of Interstate 110?

It's already 6 lanes over the river.  Maybe do a little more research before asking?
6 lanes may not be enough. Maybe do a little traffic engineering?

Anthony_JK

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2022, 06:48:20 PM »

Are there any plans to widen Interstate 10 to six lanes west of Interstate 110?

It's already 6 lanes over the river.  Maybe do a little more research before asking?

Only on the Mississippi River Bridge section, then it drops back to 4 lanes west of LA 1.

The proposed I-10 widening would add an additional lane in either direction from the LA 415 interchange to LA 1, but would still leave the bridge intact as is.

Only way you could improve capacity on that bridge is to add another span; and that would require some serious reconstruction of both the LA 1 interchange and the approach to the I-10/I-110 Split, and prohibitive cash.

Better to build a freeway grade south bypass around Plaquemine and Gonzales, or build a north bypass using Airline Highway, an improved US 190 Mississippi River bridge (along the lines of what was done to the Huey P. Long bridge in NOLA), and a connection to I-10 west of Westport.
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froggie

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2022, 09:17:47 PM »

6 lanes may not be enough. Maybe do a little traffic engineering?

6 lanes wasn't enough 15 years ago.  But as Anthony noted, improving that bridge location would be prohibitively expensive.
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webny99

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2022, 09:26:59 PM »

An observation, not specific to Louisiana: when a bridge lacks or has extremely narrow shoulders, it can still be a constraint on traffic even when it has the same number of lanes as the roadway on either side. I-190 crossing the Niagara River and I-95 crossing the Susquehanna (near Havre De Grace, MD) are examples of this.
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rte66man

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2022, 08:01:09 AM »


https://lailluminator.com/2022/11/15/fear-of-baton-rouge-traffic-drives-misinformation-on-i-10-expansion-project/

Quote
Fear of Baton Rouge traffic drives misinformation on I-10 expansion project
AG’s press release contained misinformation, transportation official says

Louisiana officials are working to dispel misinformation that has prompted truck drivers and the state attorney general to voice last-minute complaints about traffic due to planned lane closures for an Interstate 10 widening project in Baton Rouge. The Louisiana Legislature’s Joint Highway Priority Construction Committee convened Thursday and heard from truck drivers concerned about the state’s plan to close a lane of traffic on a section of I-10 in Baton Rouge for about a year while construction crews widen the highway.

John Austin of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and Jeff Cronan with Bengal Transportation asked lawmakers to halt the plan because of its anticipated effect on traffic and the nationwide truck driver shortage.

“We’re going to impact the whole entire region with one lane,” Austin said. “As a state you’re already short of drivers. Now we’re going to put them in traffic for hours.”

The stretch of interstate in Baton Rouge from the Mississippi River Bridge to the Interstate 12 split is already one of the most congested traffic corridors in the state. The state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has plans to widen the corridor, and one of the initial phases beginning in 2024 includes expanding a section of I-10 to three lanes in each direction just east of the bridge.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said this will require closing a 1,200-foot stretch of one of the westbound lanes for approximately 14 months. There is currently only one lane of traffic on the eastbound side, Wilson said, explaining that drivers use an exit ramp off the bridge as a second lane and create unsafe merging conditions as a result.

The truckers’ appearance at Thursday’s meeting came on the heels of a news report last week saying traffic could be backed up for hours once the construction begins. Truckers told lawmakers that hundreds of oversized loads that travel through that section of interstate every day will have virtually no way to pass through the region because proposed alternate routes have size and weight restrictions. However, Wilson told lawmakers DOTD only permits about 10 oversized loads per week for that area — not hundreds — and pointed out the planned detours are currently used when I-10 lanes are closed for other reasons.

“There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and most of all there’s a lot of misinformation and just wrong data about what’s actually there,” Wilson said of the project plans.

Adding to the confusion, Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a press release Thursday that incorrectly suggested DOTD was planning to reduce the entire I-10 corridor in Baton Rouge to a single lane. He accused Wilson of failing to evaluate the impacts of the project and moving forward without “providing affected individuals the opportunity to state their views.”  In a phone interview, Wilson said the attorney general’s press release is an example of the misinformation going around that creates fear and apprehension about a very large project Louisianans have talked about for decades.

“I think the AG is misinformed thinking the entire corridor is going to be reduced to one lane,” Wilson said. “That is absolutely not the case.”

Landry did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite misinformation over some of the details, everyone seems to agree that any amount of construction will make traffic worse in Baton Rouge. Lawmakers said state leaders have been discussing the interstate expansion for more than 30 years and warning that traffic congestion will only increase the longer the project is delayed.

Rep. Chad Brown, D-Plaquemine, told the truckers he shares their concerns about the lane closure and asked them to submit alternative ideas for consideration if they intend to submit complaints. “Give us other solutions to this problem that aren’t being considered,” Brown said. “We can complain and we can complain, but unless there’s an alternative way to get it done, then we’re still going to be here two years from now saying, ‘Man, we’re 32 years behind now in needing to widen I-10.’”

Wilson said DOTD has been working on the upcoming I-10 expansion since 2015. Transportation officials collected input and feedback from more than 3,000 people during the planning process, held 11 public meetings on interstate expansion designs and conducted 87 meetings with individuals, communities and stakeholders who will be directly affected by the construction, he said. 

“The reality is that those congestion points are going to be there until we get this project done,” Wilson said. “It’s been 30 years in the making to get to this point, and it’s going to be painful. But it’s going to be better permanently for the next 75 to 100 years once it gets done.”

The lane closure will last approximately 14 months, after which it will revert to two open lanes in each direction. The expansion will take about five years to complete.

Initial plans called for more than eight years of construction, but public feedback prompted DOTD to consolidate the work, including the lane closures, to reduce the project time by nearly half, Wilson said.

“There’s no doubt we have to do something with this interstate,” Brown said. “We’re going to have to build a bridge, and we’re going to have to widen that interstate. So in order for us to get that done, I realize we’re going to have to go through some pain.”
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2022, 01:40:36 PM »

Quote from: lailluminator article
The stretch of interstate in Baton Rouge from the Mississippi River Bridge to the Interstate 12 split is already one of the most congested traffic corridors in the state. The state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has plans to widen the corridor, and one of the initial phases beginning in 2024 includes expanding a section of I-10 to three lanes in each direction just east of the bridge.

I'm confused. The plan includes expanding a section of I-10 just East of the bridge to 3 lanes in each direction? I had to double-check Google Earth imagery, but the existing I-10 in Baton Rouge going over the Mississippi River and East of the river bridge has 3 lanes in each direction. That 3x3 approach to the bridge is very sub-standard though. It has no shoulders at all.

On the West side of the Mississippi River I-10 drops to 2x2 lanes after the LA-1 interchange.

What will be the resulting lanes configuration of I-10 once this project is finished? Will it still just be 3x3, but with shoulders?
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thisdj78

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2022, 03:27:36 PM »

Quote from: lailluminator article
The stretch of interstate in Baton Rouge from the Mississippi River Bridge to the Interstate 12 split is already one of the most congested traffic corridors in the state. The state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has plans to widen the corridor, and one of the initial phases beginning in 2024 includes expanding a section of I-10 to three lanes in each direction just east of the bridge.

I'm confused. The plan includes expanding a section of I-10 just East of the bridge to 3 lanes in each direction? I had to double-check Google Earth imagery, but the existing I-10 in Baton Rouge going over the Mississippi River and East of the river bridge has 3 lanes in each direction. That 3x3 approach to the bridge is very sub-standard though. It has no shoulders at all.

On the West side of the Mississippi River I-10 drops to 2x2 lanes after the LA-1 interchange.

What will be the resulting lanes configuration of I-10 once this project is finished? Will it still just be 3x3, but with shoulders?

I believe they are referring to the I-110 interchange where I-10 reduces to 2 lanes until it merges with the southbound lanes from 110. All the traffic trying to merge from the left lane between the bridge and I-110 north exit, causes constant backups stretching west across the bridge. I drive that stretch a few times a year and that segment is always the worst.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-10 in Baton Rouge
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2022, 10:23:47 PM »

Quote from: lailluminator article
The stretch of interstate in Baton Rouge from the Mississippi River Bridge to the Interstate 12 split is already one of the most congested traffic corridors in the state. The state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has plans to widen the corridor, and one of the initial phases beginning in 2024 includes expanding a section of I-10 to three lanes in each direction just east of the bridge.

I'm confused. The plan includes expanding a section of I-10 just East of the bridge to 3 lanes in each direction? I had to double-check Google Earth imagery, but the existing I-10 in Baton Rouge going over the Mississippi River and East of the river bridge has 3 lanes in each direction. That 3x3 approach to the bridge is very sub-standard though. It has no shoulders at all.

On the West side of the Mississippi River I-10 drops to 2x2 lanes after the LA-1 interchange.

What will be the resulting lanes configuration of I-10 once this project is finished? Will it still just be 3x3, but with shoulders?

The ultimate plan is to widen I-10 to 3x3 from LA 415 to the Mississippi River bridge, then 4x4 east of the I-10/I-110 Split to I-12.

One improvement that has helped in a bit of a way at that junction is the new left exit from I-110 south to Terrace Avenue which accesses the Mid City neighborhood. Before that was constructed, traffic coming from downtown on 110 south which wanted to get off onto the Washington Street exit to access that neighborhood had to fight it out with both traffic coming east from I-10 AND traffic going all the way through from both 110 and 10. The Terrace Ave, exit removes that weaving threat through direct access. The same principle will apply to the now under construction alteration of the 10/12 Split interchange to allow for direct ramp access through that interchange for traffic from I-10 West going to the Acadian Thruway exit. That traffic originally had a similar battle with traffic coming from I-12 westbound into I-10 west going into BTR.
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