Mandeville, La. - State transportation officials kicked off an $11 million project which will widen a portion of the heavily traveled U.S. Hwy. 190 in Mandeville. District Administrator Allison Schilling represented the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) at a ceremony Thursday to mark the beginning of a widening project that will expand more than a mile of Highway 190 from two to four lanes. The widening project will extend from La. 3228 (Asbury Drive) to Lonesome Road.
DA Schilling said, "The widening of Highway 190 is yet another step forward in improving Louisiana's infrastructure along this vital corridor for residents and businesses alike. Additionally, the roadway will now have a greater capacity to feed our principal emergency evacuation routes for the people of New Orleans and the North Shore."
In addition to adding two additional lanes, the project also includes a raised divided median. The project will also include updates to the existing two-lane bridge over Bayou Chinchuba. The bridge will be replaced with two new bridge spans, each with two lanes, keeping the bridges consistent with the new four lane roadway. There will also be some traffic signal, ditch and sidewalk improvements.
Construction of the project is funded by $9.3 million in federal monies, with another $2.3 million matched by 2008 surplus funds. The project, which was awarded to Command Construction Industries, is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2014.
DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas said, "We are thankful for Governor Jindal and the legislature's commitment to widening roadways in this area through an investment of $28.1 million in 2008 surplus funds and are hopeful that the completion of this capacity project will bring further economic interest to the corridor."
Sen. Jack Donahue (District 11) echoed Sec. LeBas' sentiments stating, "Maintaining and improving our infrastructure is about more than convenience. Ensuring that our highway capacity meets the demand is a key factor in both economic development and public safety. I'm excited to see this project advancing, and look forward to additional improvements in our area in coming months."
"It's a great thing, we worked hard on it," added Rep. Tim Burns (District 89). "I'm pleased that in the last seven years, we've gone from one lane, each way on Highway 190, to now – with the start of this project – four lanes. We've solved a significant transportation problem and it's going to be a great project."
"I am excited about the widening of US 190 from Asbury Road to Lonesome Road and the positive impact it will have on traffic flow, economic development and quality of life in our community," said Rep. Paul Hollis (District 104).
"The improvement to U.S. Highway 190 in Mandeville will open up an important artery in St. Tammany Parish. This widening work will provide an easier east-west corridor for commerce, as well as for hurricane evacuation," said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. "This addition will also make the area more attractive for business development, and these types of improvements will continue to be a priority for my administration."