Tree clearing underway for Hwy. 70 widening from Sorrento to Donaldsonville area

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Crews have begun work on the Hwy. 70 widening project, clearing trees between the Sorrento and Donaldsonville areas.

The highway serves as an important connection from Interstate 10 in Sorrento to the Sunshine Bridge, which carries travelers between the east and west banks of the Mississippi River. Technically located in St. James Parish, the bridge is the closest crossing for Ascension Parish residents, as other bridge options are located in Gramercy and Baton Rouge.

Approaching Hwy. 70 from the roundabout along Hwy. 22 near the Interstate 10 exit in Sorrento, crews have cleared many of the trees formerly standing on the left side of the highway.

Ascension Parish Government shared a photo of Hwy. 70 near the Sunshine Bridge. Located in St. James Parish, the bridge is near the Ascension Parish line in the Donaldsonville area.

Back in February, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson, along with state and local officials, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $53.2 million project to widen Hwy. 70.

A separate two-lane highway will be constructed parallel to the existing two-lane road, forming a four-lane divided highway, officials have said.

At the time of the groundbreaking, Wilson said the project will allow easier and safer traveling for businesses and industry in the region, as well as the citizens who use Hwy. 70 on a regular basis. He added that the project will have an impact on not only Ascension and St. James parishes, but the entire region of the state.

DOTD estimated nearly 50,000 vehicles per day are expected to use the corridor over the next 20 years, up from more than 33,000 vehicles currently utilizing the highway daily.

Officials have said the road construction has been estimated for completion in the spring of 2025, weather permitting.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.