MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development held a legislative public hearing at the Monroe Civic Center as part of its annual ‘Road Show’ to review highway construction priorities for the fiscal year as well as projects in the future.

Deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Eric Kalivoda, says the focus was infrastructure repairs and its current conditions. 

“It’s a statewide problem. We have a lot of deteriorated pavements. A lot of bridges that are in the need of repair. We do have some increase in funding coming up, particularly for bridges.”

Kalivoda says one particular bridge on the list of future projects includes the widening of the I-20 bridge. He says the bidding will officially take place a year from now.

“It’s an important improvement to make. The goal is to widen I-20 all the way through the Monroe metro area. It’s in our statewide plan, so this initial project in Monroe, and then the following project in West Monroe are two very important segments in that, but there will be more to come in the future years.”

He also says this major construction will take years to be completed. But this infrastructure improvement aims to bring business growth throughout the state.

“The I-20 is a major corder for the country actually, it’s not just for the state. And there is a tremendous amount of truck traffic that moves across I-20 and that is 

commerce for the whole country and those trucks are not all just Louisiana trucks,” said Kalivoda. 

“There is a lot of street traffic on I-20. So, we need to make sure that we are planning for that in the future to accommodate that in addition to our own population and keep our economy rolling.”

The bidding to widen the I-20 will start the Fall of 2023.