BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A new bridge over the Mississippi River is one step closer to becoming a reality. During a public meeting Monday, the state’s consulting team Atlas gave details of this lengthy process.
After extensive research, meetings and traffic impact reviews, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) Mississippi Bridge Project Manager Paul Vaught said the list of possible bridge sites has narrowed down from 32 locations.
“We’ve gone from any conceivable alternatives between I-10 and Sunshine down to ten,” Vaught said.
Seven of the 10 locations are in Iberville Parish, two are in East Baton Rouge Parish and one is in Ascension Parish. Representative Sam Jenkins said the hope is to alleviate traffic jams and accidents.
“I think all of us [have] experienced traffic jams,” Jenkins said. “I think they can be resolved from the present condition.”
The process has been criticized for taking too long, a grievance that Chairman of the Capital Area Road and Bridge District J.H. Campbell understands.
“Well as a business person I would think anybody would be a tad bit frustrated,” Campbell said. “When you are in the private sector, you have the ability to make decisions to kind of move forward at a more rapid pace and here you’ve got to follow a multitude of protocols and requirements.”
Next, the state’s consulting team with LADOTD will hold six public meetings in the following places:
- Monday, April 25, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
East Baton Rouge Parish
Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library
9200 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge
- Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
Iberville Parish, East Bank
St. Gabriel Community Center
11400 Gordon Simon Leblanc Dr., St. Gabriel
- Wednesday, April 27, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
West Baton Rouge Parish
Addis Community Center
7250 LA-1, Addis
- Thursday, April 28, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
Ascension Parish, West Bank
Donaldsonville High School Gym
100 Tiger Dr., Donaldsonville
- Monday, May 2, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
Ascension Parish, East Bank
Lamar Dixon Expo Center Banquet Hall
9039 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales
- Tuesday, May 3, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
Iberville Parish, West Bank
Carl F. Grant Civic Center
24700 J Gerald Berret Blvd., Plaquemine
“What we are doing is presenting this information to the public and we are asking for their feedback, once we get that feedback, that will be the last bit of information that we need to bring it from ten down to those two or three,” said Vaught.
The selection will be announced by end of May. Vaught said the environmental process that follows will take an additional two years.