City planning for state route takeover, will fix roads
BATON ROUGE - The Metro Council introduced a proposal Wednesday to transfer three roads from state control to city-parish control.
The city would be responsible for repairs that could be done faster than if the state was in charge of the highways and making upgrades.
The swap would include Government Street, Nicholson Drive and River Road. All three routs are tied closely with the interstates, LSU and downtown.
The director of Department of Public Works, David Guillory, says the idea is to make the routes more user-friendly for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and businesses along the corridors.
The state will provide the city with almost $13 million in credits, or funds, the parish can use for any capitol improvement project. The funds can help maintain roads for 40 years.
Guillory says plans are already being figured for the Mid City section of Government Street. The discussion calls for two travel lanes, a center turn lane and pedestrian and bike facilities to either side.
"It's usually a safer design for a road like that," said Guillory. "It can lower the speed limit, sometimes just by redesigning the way the cars travel."
East Baton Rouge Parish is just one parish in the state participating in the road swap.
The proposal will be up for public discussion March 12 at the Metro Council meeting.