SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Road work on the I-10/12/59 interchange could cause headaches for weekend and nighttime drivers for the next several months.
The Department of Transportation and Development is working to revamp the interchange, including improvements and repaving some stretches of the interstate, but closures and delays are expected.
"It's deteriorated over the years and it needs some work," Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan said. "It's a major, major project, and it will enhance that area and improve it. The problem is it'll take approximately one year for the project to be completed,"
The work is actually three separate road projects all converging at the interchange.
Starting this weekend, contractors expect to close the westbound I-12 exit from I-10, routing drivers north to Pearl River before turning around and eventually getting back onto I-12 West toward Mandeville.
"It concerns me a little bit that we're going to have to do a little extra driving, but in the long run, it's gonna be better for all of us," said Lauren Fro, a Slidell driver.
Some businesses think the traffic delays could end up hurting sales.
"I'm concerned about my customers," said Michael Romano, who owns Slidell Music Company on Gause Boulevard. "I've got customers that come from the Mandeville area, that come from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, customers that come from New Orleans, and I think it's gonna be gridlock. It's definitely going to affect us at some point in time."
Gause will likely be a major shortcut for some drivers hoping to avoid the construction, but even with more customers driving by the store, Romano doesn't think it'll translate to more traffic inside his store.
"Maybe they would come over here to kill some time and get away from the traffic, I think what's gonna happen," he said. "We're gonna have a lot of upset people out in the gridlock, and I don't see us as being the buffer between that and the gridlock."
Contractors expect to work mostly at night to avoid traffic problems and will shut down certain portions of the interstate during the next eight weekends, excluding the Fourth of July weekend.
You can see more details about the closure by clicking