Attorney General Jeff Landry is calling for transparency from the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) over plans to significantly reduce travel lanes on I-10 in Baton Rouge for at least one year starting in 2024.
Landry said in a news release that his response comes on the heels of the DOTD stating the intent to reduce capacity on both the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-10 from the six existing lanes to two lanes — one in either direction.
“The current plan to eliminate multiple lanes of travel represents a complete abandonment of assurances provided by LA DOTD, creating new impacts with significant and far-reaching effects that appear to have never been taken into consideration,” Landry said.
In a letter to DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Landry said he formally requested the LA DOTD to identify any evaluations or analyses demonstrating the department’s current plan to reduce the number of travel lanes on I-10 best serves the overall public interest, including those that address the anticipated social and economic impacts that will result from this approach.
The State’s chief legal officer also asked for copies of the contracts LA DOTD executed with the design consultant and CMAR contractor for the I-10 widening project so that the recent changes in the department’s strategy may also be considered in light of the obligations imposed by these agreements.
“While I applaud LA DOTD’s efforts to improve Louisiana’s infrastructure to alleviate current deficiencies and meet future demands, I owe a duty to the public and the legislature to represent the public interest,” Landry wrote. “This duty compels me to take action to ensure the decision to fundamentally alter travel to, from, and within our state’s capital for an extended amount of time was made after proper consideration of the anticipated impacts to the health, safety, and welfare of Louisiana citizens.”