State officials are arranging funding sources to support the implementation of improvements that result from the environmental evaluation, not to predetermine the outcome of the evaluation. LA DOTD processes are outlined below.
These processes begin with a Stage 0 (Feasibility Study), continue through a Stage 1 (Planning/Environmental) phase and then into funding efforts, which takes additional time. By initiating funding efforts concurrently, state officials are seeking to cut down the wait times for forward movement. The Stage 1 environmental study is still in progress and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
The project team is obtaining additional traffic analyses and compiling overall results from the many reviews that have been underway. Once these are brought together, project concepts with corresponding maps showing potential locations for construction to occur will be shared at public meetings. Current projections are that these meetings will be held in summer 2018. In many areas, the team is aware that existing rights-of-way will be sufficient for widening needs.
LA DOTD was able to initiate a separate project to address the traffic issues at I-110 and the Washington Street exit on a more immediate basis. LA DOTD has awarded a contract to construct a new exit on southbound I-110 to connect with Terrace Street. The construction time is approximately 12 months. Under the concept for the I-10 corridor, the existing eastbound Washington Street exit will be combined with the Dalrymple Drive exit rather than having two separate exits. This is necessary to provide an eastbound on-ramp from Dalrymple Drive which does not presently exist. The new eastbound on-ramp from Dalrymple will not be across the lakes.
The Stage 0 Feasibility Study included public meetings in August 2015 and March 2016. The final Stage 0 report was issued in August 2016 for public comment. The second stage of the LA DOTD process, the environmental/planning stage, began in 2017. The project team has been conducting intensive analysis on traffic, line and grade, structural review of existing infrastructure, and constructability reviews of the many segments in the corridor. At the same time, numerous environmental studies have been underway.
The term “Stage” refers to the progress of a project as it moves through LA DOTD’s Project Development Process.
Once a project is selected for study, it enters Stage 0, which is the feasibility study stage that allows for multiple alternatives to be considered and determines if a project is truly feasible. Stage 0, as it relates to this project, was completed in 2016 with a final round of public meetings and the release of the Stage 0 document, available for review on i10prod.wpengine.com. For this project, Stage 0 resulted in one basic concept that moved into Stage 1, Planning and Environmental. During this stage, the project is further refined to the extent that the range of positive and negative effects can be reasonably estimated. Further, potential community mitigation and enhancements are considered in Stage 1. Stage 1 involves public meetings, a public hearing, and a decision document, in this case, an Environmental Assessment.
We anticipate holding a round of public meetings, one in West Baton Rouge Parish and one or two in East Baton Rouge Parish in summer 2018. The team will present updated traffic study results, an update on the project concept studied in detail since completion of the Stage 0, a summary of potential positive and negative effects (to include construction staging areas), potential community mitigation and enhancement measures, and offer an opportunity to provide public input on the materials presented.
The noise study along with potential barrier locations and other noise mitigation measures will be presented during the public meetings and at the public hearing(s).
Additional or new supports/piers needed for potential construction would be installed using a drilled shaft method. The noise and vibration associated with pile driving would not occur using a drilled shaft. The drilled shaft method involves drilling below the surface with a rotating auger creating a hole whereby the supports can either be installed directly into the bored hole or supports fabricated off-site can be inserted into the hole.
Starting in January 2018, LA DOTD began surveying the entire project corridor. Various surveying activities will be taking place through December of 2018. Consultants working for the department are also out in the project corridor conducting environmental studies.
The “Project Info” tab on i10prod.wpengine.com has links to the base concept maps from Stage 0. The project’s base concepts have not changed; therefore, these maps remain valid and a good source of project information. As the data develops, a round of public meetings will be held to present the new findings to the public. We expect to hold the public meetings in the summer of 2018.
The Perkins Road entrance and exit ramps are too close to the Acadian Thruway ramps. In order to lengthen the Acadian westbound on-ramp and the eastbound off-ramp, the Perkins ramps must be removed. Further, the removal of the Perkins ramps will allow a widened I-10 to fit largely within existing right-of-way thus limiting impacts to nearby businesses.
A draft of the environmental study is scheduled to be released this summer for public comment. The final environmental study is anticipated to be completed by December 2018.
DOTD is currently identifying project phases that could be independently constructed while keeping I-10 open to traffic. The recommended sequence of those construction phases is included in a Project Management Plan document that is completed after the environmental study.
The proposed project is intended to reconstruct existing infrastructure and increase capacity on I-10. As has been indicated, to lengthen the Acadian westbound on-ramp and the eastbound off-ramp, the Perkins ramps must be removed. Traffic modeling is underway to assess where the traffic will exit/enter I-10 in the absence of the Perkins Road ramps. The results of the modeling will provide insight on surface street improvements that may be necessary to accommodate changes in traffic patterns. Surface street improvements deemed appropriate that are located outside existing DOTD rights-of-way will require coordination with the City-Parish.
Not necessarily, the surveyors are marking utilities and project control throughout the survey limits to accurately chart the geography of the corridor in planning for the project.