SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation formally broke ground on a section of I-49 that will run between Martin Luther King Drive and La. Hwy. 1.
The $49.4 million project will construct approximately 4.3 miles of interstate in Shreveport to Hwy. 1.
Approximately five miles remain to be constructed of the new 36-mile interstate system, which will stretch from the Arkansas border to I-220. DOTD anticipates opening the new portions of
I-49 North, between La. 1 to U.S. 71, by late summer to early fall of 2013.
The ceremony was held at the Christian Faith Worship Center Church International, where Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by other state and local officials for a ceremonial groundbreaking.
Secretary LeBas said, "As we kick off the start of construction, I am delighted to know that this project will boost Louisiana's infrastructure, which in turn will help to strengthen the overall economic growth throughout the state."
Funding for the project was made possible in 2011 as $73 million was added to construct the final two I-49 segments.
DOTD broke ground on the first I-49 North project in the fall of 2006. Since then, four segments have been completed (A-D) and five others are under construction (E-I). The $670 million project is estimated to complete in late 2016.
"This project brings us one step closer to the completion of I-49 North," said Senator Sherri Buffington. "I-49 North will pave the way for economic growth in this region and will create a more efficient route to move goods and services across our state."