Ground has been officially broken for the next-to-the-last segment of I-49 North.  

This particular segment, known as Segment J, will connect Highway One North to Martin Luther King, Junior, Drive.  Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri LeBas say this segment holds special significance because it will be named for the late Al Kessler, who was a tireless campaigner for the completion of the highway.

State Representative Henry Burns, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, and other dignitaries on hand for the ground-breaking say this project would never have been possible without the total cooperation of city, parish, and state officials from throughout northwest Louisiana.  Glover calls it a "generational accomplishment" because it's taken many years to bring it to fruition.  Secretary LeBas says Governor Jindal saw, early on, how strong the local support was and vowed to secure funding for it.  Those funds have now been identified and are dedicated to the completion of the highway.

When it's finished, I-49 North will stretch from I-220 to the Arkansas line.  Ground is to be broken for the eleventh and final segment of the highway late this year and the entire project is expected to be finished in 2016.  By 2020, it's projected that I-49 North will handle 37,000 vehicles each and every day.