13 August 2009

LA 1088/I-12 interchange contract to be awarded this month

NOLA.com - Contract to be awarded this month for new I-12 interchange near Mandeville

It's about damn time, coming from someone who lives within walking distance of the area where roadwork will commence. We've been waiting for this interchange to be built for my entire life, it seems. It's always been pushed back. Just to keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

Now is the time. I ranted against a school being built on 1088 between I-12 and LA 36 back in February because of the lack of an interchange and the potential for a traffic jam right in front of my house. Of course, who listens to me? They opened it anyway. At least traffic's not so bad... yet.

Once they begin work on the interchange, it will become a nightmare. Why? Because they'll be improving LA 1088 to a divided highway in the process. This is still a good thing, as the added capacity for LA 1088 will be needed. It's not just for the locals - traffic in Mandeville proper will be able to shave about six miles from an eastbound trip on the Interstate over the current interchange at LA 59. It'll relieve that interchange of some traffic from the south and from the north (connecting to I-12 from LA 1088 shaves even more mileage over LA 36 West and LA 59 south to I-12 - though far fewer people live on parts of LA 36 that would benefit, and no one lives on that part of 1088 yet.) Problem is, traffic at that interchange is insane, and even 1/4 of that traffic would choke a two-lane highway.

But the process of widening 1088 would choke things up for a while even if they left the existing two-lane carriageway alone while they built one parallel.

Still, gripes aside, this is something that has been needed in the worst way for years and will relieve traffic all over the extended Mandeville area. Plus, it's an interchange I could photograph by walking... can't wait for that opportunity.

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