BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A recent study implies many of Louisiana’s roads are neglected, leaving local drivers to navigate unpleasant conditions.
Researchers at QuoteWizard by LendingTree LLC say data shows that Louisiana has the 11th-worst road infrastructure in the nation. This means the analysts found many unsuitable roads and structurally lacking bridges throughout the state.
The report states that 23% of Louisiana’s roads and 9% of its bridges are in poor shape. The researchers also assert that Louisiana’s old roads are so unsound they cost drivers $624 annually.
How the City of Baton Rouge is helping
According to Mark Armstrong, communications officer for the City of Baton Rouge, officials have made significant strides in transportation improvement.
He said the MOVEBR Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements Program is the most significant transportation infrastructure investment in East Baton Rouge Parish history.
It was launched with the community’s support in December 2018 when EBR voted for a half-cent sales tax. The tax will remain in effect until 2049, and funds can only be spent on an approved list of projects.
Locals are invited to keep a close eye on the project list on the MOVEBR website: https://movebr.brla.gov/page/project-list. Those wanting to be updated on specific projects can sign up for notifications via MOVEBR’s contact page.
Road projects, other initiatives in progress
Midway Boulevard is one example of a major initiative that’s underway. The two-lane road from Picardy Avenue to Constantin Boulevard is just behind the Baton Rouge General and Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.
Another big project now under construction is the South Choctaw Drive Flannery Central Thruway. It involves the creation of a four-lane roadway with sidewalks.
Many other infrastructure plans are in the works. This is illustrated by MOVEBR’s allocation of $49 million in funds towards smaller, Future Community Enhancement (FCE) initiatives. One of the projects at the top of the list was the much-needed enhancements at the LSU lakes. The city invested $5 million into the work.
There are several improvements to be made to the capital area, and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is determined to see them through.
Armstrong said she asked each Metro Council member to submit projects for their respective districts for evaluation and consideration for funding. This resulted in the decision to move a 29 new projects up to the design phase in 2023.
Making infrastructure projects a team effort
Broome and other city officials want community input when it comes to infrastructure improvements. This is why Baton Rouge’s small businesses were invited to a February FCE Projects Showcase. The event was designed to connect small capital area companies with projects they could potentially be involved in. The goal was to create a more collaborative approach to infrastructure development.
“The Baton Rouge MOVEBR program exemplifies the city’s commitment to improving road infrastructure and creating a positive impact on the community, “Armstrong said. “Through strategic funding allocations, project evaluations, and engagement with local businesses, Baton Rouge aims to address the pressing needs of its roadways and enhance the overall quality of transportation.”