- Associated Press - Sunday, March 23, 2014

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - An $8.3 million project to widen Thibodaux’s main commercial roadway is expected to begin later this year with completion scheduled for 2015.

The work will bring North Canal Boulevard to four lanes and bike lanes will be added, The Daily Comet reported (http://bit.ly/1iwiq4W).

“We think, and I know the state agrees because they’re helping us fund this, is that it’s going to be a safer design with reference to being a four-lane boulevard where the median is a center turn lane, as opposed to being a two-lane with the median a center turn lane,” Mayor Tommy Eschete said.

During construction, North Canal Boulevard is expected to be closed to daytime traffic. St. Patrick Highway, which runs parallel to North Canal, is suggested as an alternate route.

Officials anticipate the project to go to bid this summer with construction beginning before the end of the 2014.

A portion of North Canal that doesn’t require widening will receive a small face-lift. The road will be milled and overlayed, and its shoulders will be converted into bike lanes.

“You’re going to have a completely new road surface from Louisiana Highway 308 to its intersection with St. Patrick Highway,” Eschete said.

Earlier this year, the city completed a pedestrian walkway on the Canal Boulevard Bridge.

The widening project, which has been in the works since 2010, will be paid for with state and federal money.

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Information from: Daily Comet, http://www.dailycomet.com