September 11, 2019

Major Transportation Upgrade for Baton Rouge Health District

BATON ROUGE, La. – The first phase of a $21 million connector project for the Baton Rouge Health District has been completed. On Sept. 4, stakeholders participated in a ribbon cutting for Constantin Boulevard located off Essen Lane near I-10.

This project is a great example of how the private sector can partner with the city, state and federal governments to bring a vital infrastructure project to reality.  When both phases are complete, the Constantin Boulevard project will deliver much needed traffic relief to the I-10/Essen/Bluebonnet region by providing a critical alternative east-west route for commuters and visitors to the Health District.

“This is an important transportation upgrade for our City-Parish and further demonstrates my commitment to enhancing connectivity in our community,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Along with this project, the $1 billion MovEBR program to expand roadways, add lighting, and build sidewalks and bike lanes is set to begin by the end of this year. I am committed to addressing the infrastructure needs of Baton Rouge.”

The completion of the first phase of the roadway is an important milestone in the vision for the Baton Rouge Health District. While on the surface it is a cement road, it represents part of the bigger picture – time. For example, minutes saved in patients accessing life-saving care and minutes saved during commutes, giving families more time together.

“Improving connectivity and circulation to reduce traffic congestion is a major area of focus for the Baton Rouge Health District,” said Baton Rouge Health District Executive Director Steven Ceulemans.   “The Constantin Boulevard project is a major achievement, and we look forward to continued successful collaboration in implementing the Health District Master Plan in coordination with MovEBR.”

As part of MovEBR, phase 2 of the project is scheduled to begin next year, extending from Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital to Bluebonnet Boulevard.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development partnered with the City-Parish to make the Constantin Boulevard project a reality. Work was completed on schedule, lasting 13 months. After its opening, there will still be minor work lasting two to three months.

“This is an example of local, state and federal agencies working together to address important infrastructure needs,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “As funding for new construction continues to become scarce for all levels of government, it is imperative that we all work together to address the needs of our state’s citizens. Having easy access to this state-of-the-art hospital will be beneficial for thousands of people daily.”

The completion of the first phase of Constantin Boulevard opens a new sector in the developing Baton Rouge Health District. In exactly one month, Our Lady of the Lake plans to open its state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital on Constantin Boulevard.

Our Lady of the Lake donated almost all of the land needed for the first phase, valued in excess of $12 million.

“We are incredibly thankful for the hard work of the Mayor and the Department of Transportation in making this project become a reality. This time next month, patients and guests from across Louisiana and the Gulf South will be traveling on Constantin Boulevard to seek the care they need from some of the best clinicians in the nation. Sr. Linda Constantin would be so proud of the collaboration that has gone into this project,” said K. Scott Wester, President and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Constantin Boulevard will also be home to several other facilities in the Baton Rouge Health District. Baton Rouge General has agreed to donate the great majority of the property needed to complete the second phase of the project.

“Constantin and Midway Boulevards are great first steps in making the Health District a model of how commercial and residential boulevards ought to be designed in the City-Parish,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, CEO of Baton Rouge General. “Walking, biking, jogging or driving on these streets within a mixed use environment where residential, commercial, healthcare, research and educational facilities co-exist and support each other will make the Health District a unique experience for those who live, work and visit there.”

About the Baton Rouge Health District

The Baton Rouge Health District is a nonprofit organization that promotes collaboration among healthcare providers, government officials, higher education institutions and others to implement a master plan that will enhance healthcare and economic development in Baton Rouge. Health District Members: Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Baton Rouge General Medical Center, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Ochsner Health System, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and Woman's Hospital.