DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - It may only be a little over a mile long, but a ride down Juban Road in Livingston Parish from I-12 to Florida Boulevard could take drivers a while.
"In the afternoon, traffic backs up from Florida Blvd all the way to Rouse's Supermarket," said resident Bobby LeBlanc.
To ease some of that congestion, the Department of Transportation and Development is planning to widen the highly traveled road from two to four lanes. But, that's not all. The project adds three different roundabouts: one at Juban Road and Florida Blvd, one near Juban's Crossing and one at the mid-way point.
"The roundabouts are the new trend in access management," said Bambi Hall, DOTD's public information officer. "Those are designed to improve efficiently, to improve traffic flow, to increase capacity in certain areas. They also lend to minimize any interruptions in traffic flow."
Studies show roundabouts reduce fatal accidents and save money over time. However, the folks who live and drive along Juban Road are skeptical the design will relieve traffic.
"There's a roundabout in the Rouse's shopping center and there's wrecks all the time and that's not traffic, that's just people going to grocery store," said LeBlanc.
The proposed plan would take place in two phases. The first phase would add the roundabout at Juban and Florida. The second phase would include the actual widening of the road and building other roundabouts. First, DOTD will do some fine tuning based on what residents said in the latest public meeting.
"That's why we have these public meetings, to get that input, to take those considerations, to go back to the table so that we can see if that would be the best alternative," said Hall.
The project is estimated to cost around $22 million. Hall said Phase One should begin in fall of 2016 with Phase Two starting in fall of 2017.