CENTRAL, LA (FOX44) — A new way through central! After five years of construction, the Central Thruway is finally open. It's a day locals have certainly been looking forward to. Before the Central Thruway, it would take people almost an hour to get to and from Baton Rouge, now you can cut straight across to 12.
It cost $65 million from start to finish and it's the largest project in the history of the parish.
“The traffic is very bad,” said Central resident, Larry Smith.
Larry Smith moved to central over three decades ago. He to escape the city, and be in a rural area but Central isn't rural anymore.
“We've needed it for a long time because of the traffic, the traffic in central is getting worse and worse and we really need it," said Smith.
Now the Central Thruway will alleviate that problem.
"It's very good and were looking forward to it,” he said.
And traveling won't give Larry Smith such a headache anymore. Abby Leonard says ever since the construction started, she's been counting down the days to completion.
"You could hear them working on the columns and stuff pounding them and it was like kind of ignoring it but it's like being so excited," said Central resident, Abby Leonard.
Leonard can now get to her favorite places in less than half the time it took her before.
“I can be at Hobby Lobby in 5-10 minutes compared to having to go all the way around Flannery and its going to make it so much better for everybody," noted Leonard.
With all the hard work of hundreds of people across the board, this thruway is simply a work of art.
"The results are ones people will marvel about for years to come the largest road project in the history of our parish," said Baton Rouge Mayor, Kip Holden.
Now Abby and Larry are ready to take a ride down the road they have waited so long to finally open.
"I am excited, I can’t wait," stated Leonard.
The new thruway also has six new bridges. Those will help drivers avoid flooded roads.