Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development recently opened six lanes of traffic on I-10 between the I-10/I-12 split and Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge.

The $86.2 million construction initiative widened I-10 from four to six travel lanes, and included work on bridges and overpasses at Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard.

The $315 million Geaux Wider program is a multi-year construction initiative designed to increase capacity, improve safety and enhance mobility on I-10 and I-12 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.

In addition to the completion of this segment, drivers can look forward to the opening of six lanes of I-10 from Siegen Lane to Highland Road in spring 2013. Also, in 2013, plans for I-10 continue as DOTD begins design work for three projects that will expand the widening even further from Highland Road to La. 22 in Ascension Parish.

I-10 is a major route between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, serving a growing area of commercial development, industrial operations and residential communities. Since Governor Jindal took office in 2008, the state has invested more than $470 million in I-10 across Louisiana.

Retail centers like the Mall of Louisiana, which sees over 15 million visitors annually, will greatly benefit from the improved access.

In addition, I-10 provides a vital route for numerous hospitals, physicians’ offices and medical facilities such as Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which is the largest private medical center in Louisiana, treating more than 35,000 in-hospital patients and serving more than 350,000 persons through outpatient locations annually.

Also, nestled between I-10 and Essen Lane, is the four-hundred-and-forty-acre Botanic Gardens and Rural Life Museum at Burden. Approximately 100,000 people visit Burden and Rural Life each year, and the numbers are growing based on visibility and improved access of the new lanes on I-10.

Work continues to widen the following interstate segments under the Geaux Wider Program:

• Interstate 10, from the Siegen Lane interchange to Highland Road (to be completed in spring 2013).

• Interstate 12, from Juban Road to the Walker/LA 447 interchange (to be completed in mid-2013).

In addition to the completion of the I-10 widening project between the I-10/12 split and Siegen Lane, work concluded last summer to widen I-12 to six travel lanes between O’Neal Lane and Juban Road. DOTD plans to accept bids on a project that would extend the six lane improvements on I-12 from Juban Road east toward Satsuma.

While all six lanes of I-10 between the I-10/I-12 split and Siegen Lane are now open to traffic, drivers may still encounter periodic nighttime lane closures in the coming weeks as final construction activities conclude. While work continues on the I-10 and I-12 corridors, drivers are urged to remain alert, obey speed limits and other posted signs, and exercise caution in the construction zones.