Kent Rogers, executive director of Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), said everyone knows where I-49 currently ends at I-20.
"And we know the I-49 interchange at I-220 will be located roughly halfway between Hilry Huckaby and Louisiana 1," Rogers
To determine the best way to connect those two dots, a feasibility study contract was recently awarded to Providence Engineering and Environmental in Baton Rouge.
They have 18 months to find the path of least resistance.
said Providence was chosen through a selection process by NLCOG
, an intergovernmental association of local governments established to assist in planning for projects such as this.
"That process requires us to advertise," he
"Additional monies were put into that account last year, and the year before from surplus money and capital outlay," Rogers
"Rep. Roy Burrell secured a total of $3 million for the corridor."
said because there is also a high potential for federal funding, Providence has been contracted to give NLCOG
four scenarios for the connective route.
"You have to look at several different alternatives," he
Another possibility, Rogers
said, is to use the existing railroad right-of-way that goes through the area.
The first meeting is tentatively scheduled for late spring or early summer, Rogers
"We are going to take some aerial photographs and then have a series of public meetings … informal meetings," Rogers
"Some will be for the communities, and some will be for the community at-large … the Shreveport-Bossier area.
Then, we'll meet one-on-one if requested."
said the idea is to find out what the communities want from the corridor.
"We will want their input heavily throughout this process," he
According to Rogers
, every move made on the corridor is time sensitive, and that plays a large role in the process.
The project is currently in what he
calls Enhanced Stage Zero, which will give NLCOG
all the feasibility analysis and environmental background work.
"Each phase gets time-stamped in that once you complete a certain phase, you either have to start the next phase or make a substantial effort toward that next phase in a certain time period," he
"We are expecting to receive the go-ahead to begin the study any day now," said Kent Rogers, executive director of NLCOG.
"The 3-1/2-mile corridor to be studied is an area roughly between the Allen-Pete Harris Drive and Caddo-Ford streets straight across to Highway 1 and U.S. 71 at I-220."
said the study, which is expected to take approximately two years, will include a series of community meetings to get citizens' input and will end with a final formal public hearing.
The 3132 Loop and I-220, Rogers
said, is the interim intended route for traffic coming into Shreveport at this point, but with the interstate's current traffic counts, he
doesn't anticipate the loop being a "permanent" solution.