Livingston Parish: More than 850 new homes long-term means even more traffic

Livingston Parish: More than 850 new homes long-term means even more traffic
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - It's the peace and quiet that pulled Kathy Lockhart to Livingston Parish 38 years ago.

"This used to be country. It's city now," said Lockhart.

It was 1978 when she moved into her first home on Juban Rd. to listen to the birds chirp, watch the hummingbirds drink from the feeder and simply take in nature. Since then, she's put everything into her house and her yard, that looks like a nursery with fresh flowers.

But those sound of chirping birds have been replaced by beeping noises from construction equipment and instead of stepping out to fresh flowers, she now sees working men with shovels just across the street from her home.

"It's too congested for such small lanes. We have a lot, a lot of traffic," said Lockhart.

But that problem is only going to get worse, especially at the Juban Rd. exit.

"Anytime people want to move to Livingston Parish, we certainly welcome them to come and we're excited about the future of Livingston Parish," said Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks. "We're growing. We've grown tremendously since Hurricane Katrina and we're going to continue to grow. LSU predicts we'll double in population by the year 2030."

Ricks said three new neighborhoods are on the horizon.

Sela Gardens is right off of Juban Rd. between Interstate 12 and Florida Boulevard. Crews have already made a turning lane and a new road leading in the 123 lots that will be cleared for new homes.

The Springs at Juban Crossing is behind the Movie Tavern at Juban Crossing. It will soon be home to 272 homes, (40 studio, 96 one bedrooms, 112 two bedrooms & 24 three bedrooms). In fact, as soon as the ground dries out, Ricks said crews will begin clearing the area.

The third is Juban Trails, which will be on Buddy Ellis and is a project worth $46 million just by itself.

"This is the big one. The first phase is 335 lots on 140 acres. It's going to wind up being roughly 556 acres," said Ricks.

With more than 850 new homes coming in just a 2-3 year span, expect even more bumper to bumper traffic.

The State Department of Transportation & Development plans to widen Juban Rd. from the current two lanes to four lanes and put in three roundabouts -- One near I-12, one at Florida & Juban and another in between I-12 and Florida.

"You know you've got the growth and you know it's coming. You can't stop progress so our job is to, I believe, manage it as best as we can to where we don't lose that down home small home, small city feeling. Right now, we still have not lost that although we are sitting in traffic longer than we would like to," said Ricks.

There's also a new nursing home being built on Pete's Highway and two new car dealerships on the other side of Juban Rd.

The road widening project is expected to be completed by 2018-2019, roughly the same time frame when all three neighborhoods will be completed.

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