Chamber of East Baton Rouge Reviews Alternatives to DOTD’s Plans for I-10

The people of the Capital Region need to wake up, according to the Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish. If they do not, Baton Rouge will face a man-made disaster from which it may never recover.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is pushing forward with a plan that will keep Baton Rouge in gridlock for the foreseeable future — at least 23 years.

DOTD has a plan, which is about to be implemented that will tear down most of the existing Interstate 10 between downtown and College Drive, and force tens of thousands of vehicles a day onto the overcrowded surface streets of Baton Rouge — for years to come.

The DOTD will make a number of contractors wealthy according some Chamber EBR members but at a cost in dollars and time lost that is unfathomable.

On the other hand, the Chamber has a plan that will cost  less than 10 percent as much and be complete in three years.  The ChamberEBR plan involves adding additional lanes at strategic chokepoints but not tearing down much of the Interstate. Traffic engineers say the end result will be about the same but at far less cost and disruption.

The ChamberEBR plan would also widen Airline Highway and allow it to make a major contribution to moving traffic.

The ChamberEBR, a group of small business owners who volunteer their time, is led by Cecil Cavanaugh, chairman; Woody Jenkins, president, and Coleman Brown, chairman of the Infrastructure Committee.

Coleman Brown, a long-time architect, has been studying Baton Rouge’s traffic problems for years and evaluating DOTD’s plan for the last three years.

Brown says it’s a shame more people don’t take the time to understand what is about to happen.  “It will be devastating,” he said.  Right now, the key is to contact legislators to tell them to put a hold on this project until better alternatives can be explored.

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