(Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 6:31 PM
A $13 million roadway first considered by city officials more than 10 years ago was officially opened in north Lake Charles on Wednesday.
Local dignitaries joined with residents to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Enterprise Boulevard extension.
The road is considered a major north-south artery in the city.
“This part of our city will become increasingly important for economic development,” Mayor Randy Roach said. “I think this road is a major improvement and major development.”
Money from the $90 million capital improvement bonds, approved by city voters in 2006, was used to finance the work.
Construction took place between Fournet and Katherine streets. It includes subsurface drainage, sewer and water lines, and new sidewalks.
District A City Councilman Marshall Simien pushed the project through the capital outlay process.
“This road is a cornerstone project for the northern part of the city. I expect momentum to continue in this district over a long time,” he said.
City Hall has already started conceptual drawings for the second phase of the project, from Katherine to Fitzenreiter Road. The cost has not been estimated yet.
Simien said a committee, headed by former councilman Sam Tolbert, will start meeting to get public input on the new road. Tolbert recalled speaking to Roach years ago about the possibility of building a new road in District A.
After seeing work finished, Tolbert said the completion of the capital project depends on the City Council. “The job ahead is to get four votes for phase two,” he said.
Officials at City Hall think the parkway will help manage increased traffic on U.S. 171 “by providing an alternate route to the downtown area of the city,” according to a news release.
Posted By: STEVE DUPLANTIS On: 5/2/2013
Title: WISE UP NORTH LAKE CHARLES!
I TRIED TO DRIVE DOWN THE NEW SECTION LAST NIGHT, BUT THERE WERE BIG SIGNS BLOCKING THE ROAD THAT SAID "ROAD CLOSED". THIS EVENT LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE A FREE PROMOTION FOR THE COUNCILMAN, WHO IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION SATURDAY.
I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER HOW MANY STREETS IN NORTH LAKE CHARLES COULD HAVE COMPLETED BY WIDENING STREETS, FILLING THE DITCHES, AND INSTALLING SIDEWALKS WITH THIS MONEY. HOW MANY MAN HOURS WOULD BE SAVED FOR ALL THE RESIDENTS WHO HAVE TO MOW OR WEEDEAT THE DITCHES IN FRONT OF THEIR HOMES, SOME OF WHOM HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR 30 YEARS TO SEE THESE PROMISED IMPROVEMENTS FINISHED? HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD BE SAVED BY THE CITY BY NOT HAVING TO MAINTAIN THE DITCHES THAT RESIDENTS CANNOT MOW BECAUSE THE DITCH IS OVER 3 FEET DEEP? HOW MUCH QUALITY OF LIVING AND PRIDE IN HOME OWNERSHIP COULD HAVE BEEN IMPROVED FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE RESIDENTS IN NORTH LAKE CHARLES?
WISE UP, NORTH LAKE CHARLES! WE CAN'T AFFORD TO ALLOW THE STATUS QUO OF THE LAST 20 YEARS TO CONTINUE. IT IS TIME FOR SOME NEW LEADERSHIP THAT IS GENUINELY INTERESTED IN IMPROVING ALL OF NORTH LAKE CHARLES INSTEAD OF BUILDING A ROAD TO NOWHERE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT JUSTIFY ITS EXISTANCE IN THE DISTANT FUTURE.