Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge makes another bad traffic list
For those familiar with going nowhere fast over the bridge, the good news -- if you will -- is that the American Transportation Research Institute doesn't list the confluence of I-10 and I-110 as the country's worst traffic bottleneck. That honor belongs to the infamous "spaghetti junction" of I-285 and I-85 North in Atlanta.
Still, for a second consecutive year, the narrowing of I-10 in Baton Rouge to one lane at the base of the bridge checks in at No. 19 in "Top Truck Bottleneck List." The transportation institute, which released the rankings Thursday (Jan. 26) compiled the list from truck global positioning systems and other analysis data.
The ignominy of Baton Rouge traffic has been a hot topic of conversation over the past two years, especially I-10 eastbound just off the Mississippi River Bridge, where the highway briefly shrinks to a single lane due to the Washington Street exit. It's the only single-lane stretch of I-10 in the country.
"It's been a problem that's been ignored for decades," said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge. "Thankfully, we're finally doing something about it.
Graves played a key role last year in landing a federal grant that, among other I-10 traffic calming measures in Baton Rouge, will move the Washington Street exit. Work on the $20 million project is expected to begin in 2018, said Secretary Shawn Wilson of the Louisiana state Department of Transportation and Development.
Though Baton Rouge certainly has no monopoly on traffic congestion in the state, the I-10/I-110 interchange was the only Louisiana bottleneck to make the transportation institute's Top 100 list. The honor for most disastrous traffic, based on the rankings, belongs to Houston, which has 10 rage-inducing locations, including three in the Top 13.