LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) Construction has begun on the $21.6 million widening of East Pont des Mouton Road between Louisiana Avenue and Interstate 49 in Lafayette.
The Advocate reported the project is one of the biggest in north Lafayette in recent years. Officials say traffic on the road has risen significantly over the past two decades.
The work is expected to be completed in 2016 and involves widening the two-lane road to a four-lane boulevard in some sections and a five-lane roadway in others.
Drainage improvements, lighting and sidewalks are included in the plan.
“It’s a good artery for everybody on this side of town to use,’’ City-Parish Councilman Jay Castille said.
Castille said the addition of sidewalks will allow residents to safely walk to and from the George Dupuis Recreation Center and adjacent Brown Memorial Park on East Pont des Mouton.
According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, traffic on the 1.3-mi. (2 km) segment of Pont des Mouton between I-49 and Louisiana Avenue rose from about 2,700 vehicles daily in 1997 to about 12,600 in 2012.
“At one time, it was really sort of a country road for us,’’ City-Parish President Joey Durel said.
Durel said widening of East Pont des Mouton is critical in helping Lafayette handle the estimated 90,000 new residents city-parish consultants say will be added to parish’s population by 2030.