The state has finished installing a 22.5-mile section of cable median barriers on Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, officials said Friday.
The barriers are designed to deflect vehicles that enter the median, keeping them from crossing over into oncoming traffic.
The work costs $2.7 million. It brings the total of cable median barriers on I-10 and I-12 to nearly 81 miles.
The project included a section in East Baton Rouge Parish, one mile from the Highland Road exit on I-10 to the Ascension Parish line.
In Ascension Parish, it extends one mile south from the East Baton Rouge Parish line, 3.5 miles south from La. 73 and 6.5 miles from La. 22 to the St. James Parish line.
From the previous cable barrier in St. James and St. John parishes, the work covers 4.7 miles to the Reserve Relief Canal Bridge, then 3.3 miles to the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
In Jefferson Parish, the work included 2.5 miles from the St. Charles Parish line to the Veterans Boulevard interchange.
Completion of the work was announced at a news conference in Kenner by state Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri LeBas and State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson.
LeBas and others have repeatedly said the barriers save lives.
She said in a prepared statement that, since 2007, highway fatalities have dropped by 32 percent in Louisiana.
In 2008, Grace Gary, 8, was killed on I-10 when she and her Baton Rouge family were returning from New Orleans on Palm Sunday.
An eastbound truck crossed the I-10 median without braking and slammed into the Garys’ Honda Odyssey.
Mona Gary, who is Grace’s mother, attended the news conference in September 2011, when state officials spelled out plans for the additional barriers.
Last year a mother, her three children and a second adult were killed on I-10 near Highland Road when a pickup truck crossed the median as it spun clockwise and struck a car they were riding in head on.