WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Drivers who travel down LA-1 in West Baton Rouge Parish have been asking for a solution to the traffic problem for years. There are a few plans being discussed, but one has a price tag of $800 million.
West Baton Rouge Parish has a total population of 25,000 residents. Everyday there are twice as many people driving across the Intercoastal on LA-1.
Parish officials say this is more than a West Baton Rouge problem; it is a regional problem.
The plan that is called for in the State's Transportation plan is to create a new bridge to cross the Mississippi River. It would be located south of the already-existing I-10 Bridge (Horace-Wilkinson bridge). The price tag for that is $800 million.
"It's the funding sources," says West Baton Rouge Parish Government official Jason Manola. "Pretty expensive project to accomplish something like this."
That is money that Manola says they don't have. They've considered public-private partnerships to toll the new bridge, but they'd still need additional sources.
Manola is also the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board President. He says the LA-1 traffic also affects the school system. The buses pick up and drop off children on the north end of the parish, then cross the Intercoastal to repeat the process on the south side. However, if there is a backup, it delays children from getting to school.
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