Bridge connecting I-220 and I-49 nearing completion

Bridge connecting I-220 and I-49 nearing completion
(Source: DOTD)
(Source: DOTD)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It's something every driver going to Arkansas from Shreveport has experienced. Having to get off of Interstate 220 just to jump on interstate 49.

"This has been a nightmare. Not only has it been closed for what seemed like an extended period of time, in addition to that with work going on on Martin Luther King, the I-49 bypass and then for whatever reason they chose to start working on Hillary Huckabee so we have really had a rough time getting in and out of here," said Guy Hamilton, a Shreveport resident.

But in just a couple months, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development tells us that will be a thing of the past.

"We're about 80 percent complete. We're looking at a late summer early fall completion, weather permitting of course," said Erin Buchanan is the Public Information Officer for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

The project is broken into three different state projects that are funded as followed:

Segment J: $49,935,632

Segment K1: $36,566,856

Segment K2: $141,999,345

So far, Buchanan says the multi-million dollar project has hit major milestones.

"Parts of it are already complete over the summer we opened the northbound portion from Martin Luther King to highway one to highway one so you can get on the interstate at Martin Luther King Drive or Boulevard and go all the way to the Arkansas state line on I-49," Buchanan said.

But seniors at the Martin Luther King Community Center say they're just ready for construction to be over with.

"I live like 4-5 miles from here, we have to drive all the way around to get to Martin Luther King, but when they first start wouldn't open this up we couldn't get through so that kind of put a little stress on us," said Cullen Mayfield a Shreveport senior.

"This is a senior citizens place and we try to limit our driving so when we got to go out of our way and especially going on North Market now where the traffic flowing up toward i-49 is a nightmare."

Buchanan adds that freezing temperatures could slow down progress because work cannot be done in temperatures below 30 degrees.

But all they have left to do is complete 20 percent of the bridges and overpasses, complete eastbound lanes of Interstate 220, add concrete barrier rails, lighting which will eventually be maintained by the city of Shreveport, and striping on the lanes.

"We know residents and travelers are looking forward to the full completion of this new segment of I-49, as it will create an interchange with I-220. It is also a vital arterial thoroughfare through Shreveport," Buchanan said.

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