(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, November 12, 2012 6:09 PM
Last week’s opening of a segment of Enterprise Parkway in the northern section of the city is cause for celebration.
The parkway promises to become a major thoroughfare in north Lake Charles and offer motorists driving south along U.S. 171 an alternate route to reach Interstate 10 and the downtown section of the city. That in turn will relieve traffic congestion and wear and tear along the U.S. 171 corridor from I-10 north to Fitzenreiter Road.
The overall project will cost some $10.9 million and is funded by bonds that were approved by city voters in 2006 as part of a $90 million capital improvement plan by Mayor Randy Roach’s administration.
The newly opened segment of the parkway runs from the base of the Rufus Mayfield Overpass across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to Gieffer Street.
“Overall, I think this is a terrific project for the northern section of the city. It benefits the whole city,” City Administrator John Cardone told the American Press.
Once completed, the part of the parkway will run along the Calcasieu River, providing a view of the river north of the Saltwater Barrier that many local residents have never taken in.
More importantly, the parkway offers an economic shot in the arm of a section of the city that could readily use the boost.
In the not-too-distant future, the parkway will likely be lined with small businesses and restaurants as the “build-it-and-they-will-come” model kicks in.
“The project will allow traffic to go in different sections of the city, and that will create business interests,” Cardone said. “That means there will be room for economic development.”
A four-lane, divided parkway will also give truck transporters much easier access to the upper reaches of the city and the fertile opportunities along the northern stretches of the river.
We’re excited about the varied opportunities the Enterprise Parkway offers for those entrepreneurs with enterprise coursing through their veins.
We congratulate the Roach administration and Lake Charles City Council for putting this vision into action and can’t wait to see the project completed in its entirety and the fruit that it will bear.
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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.