State Project Number H.013284
MRB South GBR: LA 1 to LA 30 Connector, known as MRB South, was created to provide new access across the Mississippi River and new connectivity between LA 1 and LA 30.
The vision for this project is to provide additional redundancy in the Greater Baton Rouge Area cross-river transportation network and to locate the new facility such that it maximizes daily usage. Due to financial constraints, future connectivity to freeways or arterials beyond LA 1 and LA 30 that could provide expanded route continuity and usability (e.g. having this project be a functional portion of a future corridor) are beyond the scope of this project; however, traffic impacts created by this project and associated mitigation required will be evaluated and considered.
Purpose and Need
This project is in the Stage 1 Planning/Environmental portion of the DOTD Highway Project Delivery Process. For additional information on the Delivery Process, click here. For the purposes of this project, Stage 1 has been divided into two main parts. Part I, the Planning Phase, narrowed the number of potential alternatives to a handful that best meet the Purpose and Need of the project and achieve as many project goals as possible. An initial 32 alternatives were narrowed down to 10 that were presented to the public for input in Spring 2022 at six public meetings, then narrowed down to three alternatives by Summer 2022. Part II, the Environmental Phase, will include a broader NEPA-specific engagement approach related to specific analyses of the remaining three alternatives in order to identify a preferred alternative for the project.
The enhanced planning portion of the project gathered relevant project information to identify feasible alternatives and to inform the process. This included developing traffic and toll models and identifying locations at which the river can be crossed. Additionally, stakeholder engagement and public meetings were utilized to share information and gather feedback.
Findings from Part I will heavily inform the environmental evaluation portion of this project, which will produce an environmental document for federal review and approval. This will include a traffic and toll analysis and further stakeholder engagement and public meetings as a final preferred alternative is selected for the bridge’s location.
Timing for construction completion of this project is heavily dependent upon funding availability and construction contracting type. Those variables will not be known until near the completion of the environmental evaluation process at the earliest. However, assuming funding is available and that this project is a good candidate for an alternative delivery type of construction contract (e.g. design-build), the soonest that a new bridge across the Mississippi River could be completed and open to traffic is estimated to be 2031.
It is important to note that federal funding eligibility requirements mandate completion of the environmental evaluation process prior to moving into the design and construction stages.