MANDEVILLE, La. (WGNO) –– Governor John Bel Edwards joined the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to celebrate the completion of the first of three phases in the I-12 expansion project. 

Traffic in this region has surged significantly. The DOTD noted an increase from 68,000 daily vehicles in 2012 to over 90,000 currently. This number is projected to rise by at least 40,000 by 2036. The ongoing expansion aims to accommodate this anticipated growth.

Edwards reflected on the $169.8 million effort, “I remember when we were here for the groundbreaking of this much-anticipated project in 2020, and it is exciting to see that we have made it to the finish line of the first two phases.” 

The inaugural phase, spanning three miles from US 190 to LA 59, had a budget of $54.5 million. It included median widening, asphalt overlays, concrete protection and bridge expansions over landmarks like US 190, Ponchatolawa Creek and the Tammany Trace bike path. Funding for this phase comprised $43.4 million from federally sourced residuals, $8 million from St. Tammany Parish and an additional $2.8 million from the state.

The second phase mirrored the first, stretching 3.4 miles from US 190 to LA 21 and carrying a $59.1 million price tag. Funding sources included a $25 million federal BUILD grant, a $7.2 million contribution from the parish and a mix of federal and state funds.

The third phase, set at $56.1 million, has already commenced and will span from LA 1077 to LA 21. It’s slated for completion by 2026.