POSTED: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 6:47pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 12:31pm
BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — Rosemary Barnett tries not to drive on Interstate 12 anymore.
"I really don't like to drive with all of the construction," she explains. "It just seems so dangerous to me, so I usually take Florida or any other way so that I can get around it."
Right now, a large stretch of I-12 is undergoing a makeover. The Geaux Wider Project is meant to widen the interstate from two lanes to three all the way from Baton Rouge to the Juban Road exit in Livingston Parish.
"We want to go wider for safety, first of all," says spokesman Bill Grass. "The wider lanes will be safer for everybody, will prevent those bottlenecks that everybody's used to."
However, folks like Barnett, get nervous around the construction zone.
"People go too fast, and there's no shoulder," she says. "I hate whenever you're driving and the edge is just right there at you. It's just so scary all around."
Baton Rouge Police say the number of car accidents do tend to go up around construction zones. In the last several days, a number of accidents have been reported eastbound between Millerville Road and O'Neal Lane. Police say, the drivers are to blame.
"The accidents are happening when people aren't paying attention," Cpl. L'Jean McKneely explains. "They're rear-ending the vehicle that has stopped due to traffic congestion."
There are warning signs, and lower speed limits, along that stretch of road. They're posted throughout the construction zone to keep drivers safe, but not everyone follows the rules.
"We strongly urge people to just please pay attention to the signs, the speed limits. Watch out for construction workers. Watch out for other vehicles because lives are at stake and we can't stress it enough," Grass says.
It's a frustration for the Geaux Wider team who are doing everything they can to make the roads safe.
"We know most of these problems could be resolved if people would just pay attention and be careful," he says.
Grass expects the I-12 Geaux Wider Project to be finished by mid 2012.
Learn more about the project at http://geauxwider.com/