BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As construction ramps up, the MOVEBR Rapid Response Team plans to quickly address problems impacting businesses.
As more MOVEBR projects move into the construction phase, the program management team has implemented a process to quickly address any inconveniences or unintended business disruptions that may occur.
“Certainly I know we need the construction, but I also know that’s going to create some disruption,” said East Baton Rouge’s Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford.
Outside Perkins Rowe, a MOVEBR sign sits facing the street, barricades are up and a crew is already getting some work done. Behind Perkins Rowe, preparation is underway to construct a new feeder road.
“It’s another tie-in to get you to the interstate from off of Perkins. It’s an extension of the ring road that’s in the mall, comes underneath the railroad track, we’re building an underpass and it’s coming out there right there by the shopping center,” said Raiford.
In 2020, a construction project along Corporate Blvd. was put on hold after people complained it was affecting their business. As projects like the one at Perkins Rowe get underway, the city-parish is working to alleviate any issues it may cause.
“You know, we’re not going to shut a job down, but if you’re in an area where we’re going to look at things we’re going to be doing, we’ll be sure that the business knows what we’re doing, first off, we’re going to make sure that everyone is aware of what’s taking place,” said Raiford.
A woman who lives and works in Perkins Rowe said she understands what the city-parish is doing, but calls the project a headache waiting to happen.
“It’s going to be a major thoroughfare going behind my apartment complex. It’s going to cause traffic across the road every day to walk and run in the neighborhoods, you’re not going to be able to cross it because it’s going to become like Bluebonnet probably,” said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous.
“As part of delivering excellence in program management for the people of East Baton Rouge Parish, our goal is to avoid any problems which may impact businesses as we work to get our parish moving forward,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Our commitment is to resolve any unexpected issues as quickly as possible so customers have access to the businesses they need and companies located along construction routes can operate at full capacity.”
Prior to the project starting, businesses within the project boundaries will get a courtesy call. If disruption happens, the city-parish is promising to come out, have a meeting and come to a resolution.
Per the Mayor-President’s office, the disruptions may include power outages or temporary loss of access to the business. The MOVEBR Rapid Response team will answer the call, meet with the business owner on-site, gather information and photos from the affected business and transmit a report to project managers who can begin immediately addressing the issue. The Rapid Response team will keep businesses informed of progress until the issue is resolved.
“There’s going to be some inconvenience. There’s no way possible not to have any inconvenience when you’re doing construction. We’re going to try to do everything possible to minimize that,” said Raiford.