The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces that the new I-20/Tarbutton Road interchange in Ruston, Lincoln Parish is fully open to traffic.
The $25.5 million project creates a new interstate interchange in addition to a new Tarbutton Road overpass, a reconstructed Tarbutton Road north and south of I-20, and improved traffic flow on adjacent service roads.
“This type of investment – over $25 million – is indicative of our continual efforts to make smart decisions when it comes to the use of transportation funding,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This project is one that we prioritized early in my first term, understanding the need for accessibility and connectability for residents and business owners. But the first shovel couldn’t hit the dirt without commitments from local government. I commend Dr. Wilson and his team for working so diligently to see infrastructure improvements like this one happen across the state.”
The new interstate on and off-ramps were opened to traffic on Thursday, June 25, 2020, officially providing access that will help to boost economic development along the Tarbutton Road corridor and ease traffic congestion at nearby interchanges.
“This project has transformed the landscape of this area of Ruston, while remaining ahead of schedule and on budget despite heavy spring rains, a devastating tornado, and the restrictions of a worldwide pandemic,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “This interchange provides new critical interstate access to both commercial and residential areas. But none of it would be possible without vital partnerships with local and federal agencies, and without the vision of an administration set on investing our transportation dollars strategically.”
Work began on the project in September 2017, with other milestones highlighted along the way, including the opening of the new, widened Tarbutton Road overpass in October 2019. Also, the two service roads were transitioned to one-way traffic in early April 2020.
Tarbutton Road north and south of I-20 was reconstructed on an adjusted alignment, creating improved traffic flow through the area and a new roadway capable of handling heavy traffic volume for years to come.
“This fabulous project, needed for decades, is a partnership between the City of Ruston, State of Louisiana, and the federal government, and is a tremendous addition to the infrastructure of the City of Ruston,” adds Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker. “It is an essential part of the continued commercial and residential growth of our great city. Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University will benefit from the additional interchange on I-20. I want to personally thank Gov. John Bel Edwards and Sec. Shawn Wilson for their commitment to get this project done. This interchange will serve as a tremendous entranceway to our growing city and universities.”
“What started more than twenty years ago as a collaboration between the cities of Grambling and Ruston has finally been completed,” stated Edward Jones, Mayor of Grambling. “The new Tarbutton Road Interchange will benefit both of our college towns, providing greater access to our businesses located on Tarbutton Road and the I-20 service roads, and encouraging new businesses to locate to the area. It will also relieve traffic congestion during football season and give our residents who live on the Old Grambling Road a shorter and quicker route to their homes from I-20.”