‘Go find funding, so we did’ Brister says of I-12 widening project

MANDEVILLE, LA -- Saint Tammany Parish will widen a troubled stretch of Interstate 12 in the parish after securing federal money for the project.

The stretch of interstate runs approximately from Highway 21 to Highway 190 in the parish.  It also includes the interstate bridge that crosses the Tchefuncte River.

Last May, the stretch of interstate was the scene of a fatal crash that left four people dead and others injured.  Since then, the parish has pushed for money to add additional lanes.

Parish President Pat Brister says that the state doesn't have the tens of millions of dollars needed for the project. "He (Governor Edwards) told us to go find funding," Brister said during a news conference on the project.  "So we did."

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it would give St. Tammany Parish $25 million for the project.  The grant follows additional state and parish money that was already secured, bringing the total cash available for the widening to $36 million.

The parish released a map of the area that will be widened along with a graphic of what the bridge over the Tchefuncte River will look like.   Those images are posted at the bottom of this page.

The project will also include some soundproofing infrastructure work.

The parish says it will now work with the state to select a date to begin the project.