CRISIS, the Baton Rouge area regional business-led coalition for transportation improvements, today hailed the announcement by the Gov. John Bel Edwards administration of a plan to fund critical improvements to the I-10 corridor through Baton Rouge.
According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) most recent “mobility scorecard,” Baton Rouge ranks third worst in the country among mid-sized cities in the category of average commuter annual traffic delay, at 47 hours per year. The Baton Rouge area also ranks second worst among mid-sized cities for the amount of annual excess fuel consumed per commuter (25 gallons), and number one on the list for the amount of money congestion is costing the average commuter per year, at $1,262. Baton Rouge also ranks third worst for cities for freeway travel reliability.
A 2016 CRISIS analysis of regional infrastructure projects showed that the I-10 corridor widening project, once completed, is estimated to save over 500,000 total travel hours annually, equating to total annual savings of over $10 million to drivers who use this route.
“There’s no silver bullet to fixing the traffic mess in the Baton Rouge area – multiple major infrastructure projects are still needed. But addressing I-10 through the heart of the city has always represented an essential step, and we applaud this much needed plan of action,” said CRISIS co-chair Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and General Manager at BASF.
"This project is important not only to those who live along I-10 in Baton Rouge, but also to everyone across the region, employers and employees alike,” said Hugh Raetzsch, President and CEO of Lyons Specialty Company of Port Allen, and CRISIS Vice Chair. "Today’s announcement is great news for everyone in the region who regularly travels this congested corridor.”
“One of the founding principles of CRISIS was the need for sound transportation planning through data-driven decision-making, and it’s gratifying to see that principle implemented to provide significant real-world results,” said Cordell Haymon, Senior Vice President of SGS Petroleum Service Corporation, and CRISIS leadership member.
With today’s announcement, Gov. Edwards has now committed resources to the two regional projects identified in the CRISIS analysis (I-10 widening in Ascension parish and now the I-10 corridor project from the bridge to the split) that showed the best “bang for the buck” among the 18 Capitol Region projects evaluated, based on annual hours saved per million dollars in cost.
The full presentation of that analysis report can be found online by clicking here.