Feb 6, 2013 5:18 PM by Melissa Canone
JENNINGS, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), along with state and local officials, kicked-off the start of the La. 97 improvement project today with a groundbreaking ceremony at Our Lady Immaculate School.
The project will create a continuous turn lane on La. 97 from La. 102 to one-mile north of La. 102.
"Louisiana 97 serves as a vital link to one of Louisiana's heavily-traveled east-west interstate highway corridors, I-10," said DOTD District 07 Administrator Steve Jiles. "Projects such as this help to enhance safety, improve travel for commuters and help to facilitate economic growth in the community."
Serving nearly 7,000 vehicles per day, La. 97 provides access to local commerce, educational institutions and facilities that provide services to our U.S. Veterans.
Additionally, this project will provide improved access to several transportation facilities in the immediate vicinity, including the Jennings Airport, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and the Mermentau River Port.
"This project will be an asset to the community with the enhancement of the flow of traffic and providing for the safety of students attending the three schools in the area," said State Senator Dan Morrish.
"In continuation with our commitment to honoring our troops, the La. 97 improvements will ensure the continued safety of our veterans at home just as they were committed to our safety abroad," said State Representative John Guinn.
"The completion of this project will help to ease congestion along this heavily-traveled corridor for the more than 7,000 people who use this road each day," said Jefferson Davis Police Jury President Donald Woods.
"I believe improvements along the corridor will not only provide an economic boost for local commerce along the route, but more importantly will offer a safer drive for motorists," said Jennings Mayor Terry Duhon.
"The improvement of Louisiana 97 not only contributes to the safety of our students with the addition of a designated turn lane, but it also helps to ensure the local community that the state is dedicated to investing in the safety of our students," said Our Lady Immaculate Principal Nicole Reeves.
"Improving this section of La. 97 will reduce congestion and enhance safety to motorists, especially our U.S. veterans who receive treatment at the Southwest Louisiana War Veterans Home," said SWLWVH Administrator Matthew Duhon.
Awarded to Cecil Perry Construction for $4.4 million, work on the project will begin in February 2013 and is estimated for completion in February 2014.
Over the last five years, more than $50 million has been dedicated to maintaining and improving Jefferson Davis Parish transportation infrastructure.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state's aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD's Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).
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