BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Department of Transportation kicks off its week-long series of public meetings about possible sites for the new Mississippi River Bridge.
DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says they’re holding public meetings to narrow down these sites to just three locations. Right now they’re considering 10 locations.
“We don’t want to invest so much money in a project if the public clearly doesn’t want it,” said Mallett. “We had some people who like the idea of having a bridge, but not here. And that’s fine and we want them to tell us why.”
Ron Crum is a long-time resident of East Baton Rouge Parish. He fully supports a new bridge but there is still much to consider.
“I am very concerned about the Bluebonnet crossing and Point Marie crossing. Both of those sites cross five miles from most of the pristine ecologically sensitive swamps in the entire state,” he said.
Some residents say a bridge is a great idea, but placing it in EBR would be a nightmare for traffic.
“I think the better option would definitely be to go south. Whether that would be in Iberville Parish or Ascension,” said Jerry Hix, East Baton Rouge resident.
“Nicholson Drive is already rated at level of service F. Why would you build a bridge only to put more traffic? That’s 22,000 cars a day than what it has today,” said Crum.
DOTD is still waiting on lawmakers to help fund the project.
In January, the project gained its biggest push when Governor John Bel Edwards proposed $500 million for a new bridge.
Dates and locations of upcoming meetings:
- 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