The state highway department is starting work on an $11.3 million project to widen a 1.2-mile stretch U.S. Highway 190 in Mandeville from two lanes to four.
Allison Schilling, a district administrator for the state Department of Transportation and Development, says the project will improve a vital corridor that also feeds principal hurricane evacuation routes.
Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere said 20,000 cars go through the area on a daily basis.
The road widening runs from La. Highway 3228 to Lonesome Road.
The work will include a raised divided median and improvements to traffic signals, ditches and sidewalks. An existing two-lane bridge over Bayou Chinchuba will be replaced by two new bridge spans, each with two lanes.