Shreveport Rep Says Jimmie Davis Bridge Park Plan is Waste of Money
State Rep. Cedric Glover talks about his opposition to the plan to turn the existing Jimmie Davis Bridge into a park, at a cost of $30 million.
What is the Linear Park Plan?
The plan, which has the support of many, including Department of Transportation and Development Secretary, Dr. Shawn Wilson. In an interview with KEEL last June, Wilson introduced the idea, saying, "It could be retained as a linear park for walking, biking, etcetera, but it would need local sponsors. That is not something the state operates and maintains. We could participate in the establishment of such a park provided resources are available."
Who Wants a 'Linear Park' and Why?
But Glover says the cost, now estimated at $30 million, is way too high and thinks the state may have ulterior motives. "(DOTD) wants to get out of the old Jimmie Davis Bridge business, make it into a park," Glover says, "Then ask a consortium of local governments, including both cities and both parishes...to form some sort of local group that would take over the duties and responsibilities of managing and operating...this first-ever in Louisiana linear park concept."
And Why is the Cost So Outrageous?
The Shreveport State Representative then gives details of the just-announced cost of the plan. "The actual capital expense that they would expend in order to be able to make this linear park would be at least $30 million," Glover says, explaining that the old JDB structure would still have to be maintained as a functioning bridge, despite the construction of a new, four-lane structure."
Then why is the idea being pushed so hard by the state and others? "We're being steamrolled," Glover says, adding that no yearly maintenance cost has been given. "We do not need local government getting into the old Jimmie Davis Bridge business."