CENTRAL, La. (WAFB) - In the heart of Central lies a two-lane road that’s the source of headaches for drivers trying to get around during rush hour.
"There's a lot of traffic out here all day long and sometimes it backs up pretty good,” said Regina Tyndall.
Tyndall owns Old Paths Natural Market at the corner of Hooper and Sullivan. She says she’s excited about the prospects of the overly congested Hooper Road being widened.
"It would definitely make it easier to get in and out of Central and through this particular intersection,” she said.
The Louisiana Legislature passed an infrastructure plan that uses money from the BP Oil Spill fund for much needed projects around the state. One of those is a $15 million plan to widen Hooper Road between Sullivan and Greenwell Springs.
"It’ll definitely help with the traffic,” said David Barrow, Central’s mayor. “You know, right now, it’s kind of bumper to bumper along Hooper and Sullivan roads in the afternoon. If we can get Hooper widened to four lanes, you know it’s really going to make great improvements in our area which benefits the businesses, being able to get in and out of those as well.”
That’s good news for small business owners such as Tyndall, but she says not everyone is happy.
“I know that we are surrounded by cities that are growing like Zachary and Denham Springs, and I think the citizens of Central have fought to keep it rural, but I don’t see it staying this way,” Tyndall said. “I see growth in our future.”
Barrow says he does not expect ground to be broken on the project for another couple of years.
The bill must still be signed by the governor.