Ryan Street exit ramp project moving forward

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

An official with the state Department of Transportation and Development expects that all land needed for the Ryan Street exit

ramp will be acquired by late September.

The $5 million to $6 million project

will provide a modified westbound exit ramp to Ryan Street, connect the

westbound ramp

to the north frontage road and extend the south frontage road from

Lakeshore Drive to Ryan Street, said Deidra Druilhet, DOTD

spokeswoman.

She said DOTD is completing right-of-way acquisition and utility agreements. Both are estimated for completion in September,

she said.

“All but two parcels have been acquired

for the proposed Ryan Street exit ramp, which are owned by Kansas City

Southern Railroad,”

she said by email.

John Cardone, Lake Charles city administrator, said people will have direct access to downtown from the interstate, making

the ramp a major asset to downtown businesses.

“We’re excited about the project,” Cardone said Wednesday. “It will benefit those businesses, restaurants and retail stores.”

The project is scheduled to go to bid in late 2013 or early 2014, Druilhet said.

Construction is expected to begin next summer and is estimated for completion in fiscal year 2014-2015, according to the DOTD.

The project is being paid for with local, state and federal funds.