4th Bridge Over The Ouachita River? - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

4th Bridge Over The Ouachita River?

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A fourth bridge over the Ouachita River isn't a new idea, the discussion has been going on for decades. Tuesday project mangers met with the public to get their opinions.

Monroe's Economic Development Officer, Dwight Vines, says  "the first study started back in the 60's. Back when I was president of the chamber of commerce in the late 70's we had a study on a specific site."

That study like many others had people opposing the location. With the three bridges currently connecting the twin cities,nearing capacity, the effort has been revived by legislators. They are funding the first step of the project: a two year long study.

Project Manager, Scott Hoffeld, says, "the study area is between LA 143 and US 165, in an undeveloped area in Monroe and West Monroe." Where to build the 4th bridge has been the biggest debate. Leaders believe this time they have a plan they think the majority will agree with.

Vines says, "we'll probably never build a road that there is no opposition to. I think it's far enough out, that it'll have wide spread support." Vines, says this location would be low impact. He says, "this site we are looking at now is out of town, and it cuts across the swamp."

Money is still a concern. Past studies have projected such a project to cost anywhere near 200 million dollars. One option is a toll road. Vines says, "their study indicates that $1.50 per car would maximize income, total income."

The cost of construction won't be realized until the study has concluded in 2014. Project managers encourage you to give them feed back. It must be posted marked by March 22nd. You can mail your comments to:

10352 Plaza Americana Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Attn. Ms. Lynn Maloney-Mujica, AICP

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