The Video On The I-10 Widening Project Shawn Wilson Doesn’t Want You To See

You’ve probably heard at this point that the construction project set for I-10 in Baton Rouge, which would last a year and severely restrict traffic on the highway as it flows through the center of the city, has been sent back to the drawing board.

DOTD announced an I-10 widening project update on Monday, Jan. 30, with the goal of creating fewer traffic headaches during construction.

The new plans involve adding an additional lane on the westbound flyover at the I-10 and I-110 interchange. Leaders hope the change will address concerns over the impact on traffic from lane restrictions during the main construction phase of the I-10 widening project.

Work on the new lane still needs approval from the Federal Highway Administration. Once the approval happens, the additional lane will take about a year to create and will cost an estimated $50 million.

Any major lane restrictions from the I-10 widening project, which were expected to begin in 2024, will be pushed back a year, leaders said.

When coming up with the idea for the addition of the westbound lane on the flyover, engineers looked at feasibility, constructability, and cost benefits.

“DOTD has been working diligently to determine the most feasible options to reduce traffic congestion during the construction of the widening project,” DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. said.

Once the entire I-10 widening project is completed, there will be four lanes in each direction between the I-10 and I-110 split and Acadian Thruway.

Construction on the I-10 widening project is now projected to wrap up in 2028, pending any major weather issues.

“While this project will be extended by a year, we will continue to make improvements to other highways in the region as mitigation that would not have been possible,” Wilson said. “Let’s not lose focus on the end goal, which is to make these much-needed enhancements to the I-10 corridor. When this project is completed, it will be transformative for the region and the state.”

This signifies a retreat of sorts. It shows that the management of the widening project is a total cockup, and now it’ll be pushed back to such an extent that it won’t be completed until the next governor’s second term – or after the next governor loses re-election.

Wilson’s expected to get into the governor’s race soon. He’s the likeliest Democrat candidate. With the idea that I-10 might be cut all the way down to one lane each way looming during the entirety of this year’s campaign, Republican politicos around the state have been licking their chops at having Wilson to run against.

But this late news is a good indication the stories about Wilson being committed to running seem to have more validity. He just punted this whole thing so he could run for governor without having an angry public in his face about essentially impinging on transportation as the Secretary of Transportation.

Except here’s the problem: Shawn Wilson has a record. This project has a massive paper trail. And it isn’t a good one.


So on Wednesday, January 25, The East Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Committee held a public forum to discuss the project. And Assistant Attorney General Joseph Donahue gave this presentation running through that paper trail, because the AG’s office has been wearing Wilson out over the rather unresponsive and pigheaded approach DOTD has taken toward kinking I-10 traffic. In his presentation, Donahue goes through the history of the project and the back-and-forth between the AG’s office and DOTD, and it’s a classic case of bureaucratic idiocy.

It goes 27 minutes, which is a little while, but it’s still worth a watch.

You won’t find the idea of Shawn Wilson as governor of Louisiana a particularly appetizing one after you’ve seen it. But the idea of a Wilson-Landry runoff will, if you’re a Republican, seem quite appetizing indeed.



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