ASK THE ADVOCATE: Central Thruway

What is the projected date for the opening of the Central Thruway? It seems that this project has been delayed a number of times. Will Frenchtown Road be closed to replace a bridge?

Response from John Snow, of SSA Consultants, spokesman for the East Baton Rouge city-parish Green Light Plan program:

The Central Thruway is currently on schedule to open to motorists by late summer or early fall of 2013, which is ahead of the actual completion date for the overall project (expected for the late fall of 2013). While utility delays have played a major factor in completing several of the nine individual construction projects that comprise the overall Central Thruway, crews remain hard at work in working toward the completion of all outstanding work on the two remaining projects (of the nine total) within the Central Thruway still under construction. Weather delays are also factoring into the overall construction progress, especially with the impact the recent wet weather has had on subsurface work required by the project.

Due to concerns about the existing Frenchtown Road being able to safely handle the resultant volume of traffic from an open and accessible Central Thruway, city-parish, city of Central, and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials have agreed not to open completed portions of Central Thruway to motorists until enough work is completed on Central Thruway from Sullivan Road to Greenwell Springs Road that city-parish and DOTD traffic engineers determine opening the intersection is a feasible and safe action to take. Once that has happened, the Central Thruway will open to traffic (which again is anticipated to take place in late summer or early fall of 2013, weather permitting) even while crews continue finishing work included within those final two projects.

The work that is scheduled to take place along Frenchtown Road does include bridge replacement work crossing Beaver Bayou, which will require the road to be closed to traffic while this work is taking place. However, those requiring access to areas from Frenchtown Road to Beaver Bayou while construction is taking place on this stretch of roadway will still be able to get to where they need to go via a temporary access road that will be available for use during construction. We are also looking at improving the existing construction access road from Frenchtown Road to the Central Thruway east of Beaver Bayou to help maintain access during construction. This work will begin once construction on Greenwell Springs Road has progressed to the point that city-parish Department of Public Works is comfortable using it as a detour route so as to not detour motorists from one construction zone to another.

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