ICYMI: Why has the roadwork on Jefferson Highway stalled?

Have you found yourself wondering why the extensive roadwork underway on Jefferson Highway near Drusilla Lane has seemingly come to a halt? You’re not alone.

According to a statement released last week, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has been fielding calls about the lack of work being done in recent days.

The roadwork, which has rendered the center three lanes of Jefferson Highway inaccessible, is part of a roughly $18 million project that will see Jefferson Highway undergo full reconstruction and resurfacing from Drusilla Lane to Airline Highway. The reconstruction and resurfacing will progress in quarter-mile chunks.

A discovery that was made in the early days of the project is the reason minimal work is being completed at this time. When crews began digging near the Interstate-12 ramp, they found that a small area had unsuitable soil for a road base. In other words, that area was not strong enough to build a road on.

The problem area needed additional material and time to be brought up to an acceptable roadway standard. Crews continued with the rest of the project despite the setback, and they expect to resume work “by the end of this week.”

Crews plan to move on from the current quarter-mile section near Drusilla Lane in mid-May, at which point they will begin work on the next quarter-mile section near Bluebonnet Road. Crews will return to the Drusilla section in the fall of 2024 to reconstruct and resurface the outside lanes of Jefferson Highway, a process that will last for about six months.

Though the project was initially expected to conclude in the fall of 2025, it is now projected to wrap up in early 2026 on account of the aforementioned setback.

Read more about the project and its impact on local businesses here.

This story originally appeared in an April 18 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.