Caddo Commission Pushing for Completion of I-49
The Caddo Parish Commission has passed a resolution in support of the I-49 inner city connector in Shreveport. The panel voted 9-1 for this measure. Only Commissioner John Paul Young voted against this resolution.
Kent Rogers with the Northwest Louisiana Council on Governments gave Commissioners an update on the progress of this 3 mile stretch of the highway north of I-20 connecting to I-220. Rogers says the cultural study is in progress. More than 2,000 structures have been surveyed in the region.
Once the federal highway department review is complete, we can move forward with the right of way engineering and bridge concepts. Federal highways officials have told us that until they have reviewed and approved the Environmental Impact Statement, it can not be shared with the public.
Rogers says he hopes to have that EIS available to the public by the end of this year or early next year. Public hearings would then be held and a final determination would be made.
On the money front, Rogers says Louisiana is getting $1.6 billion more in federal stimulus dollars and 400 million of that is being directed to infrastructure. But we don't know yet which projects will be on the list of priorities from the Governor.
He is hopeful this project will be included to get a piece of that money.
Rogers does say he expects a "record of decision" or ROD from the federal highway department next year and that can clear the way for the work to begin. But Rogers says we still need 500-600 million dollars on top of the $100 million dollars that has already been set aside for this project.
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