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Roadway changes proposed for Airline Hwy

3 years 5 months 3 weeks ago April 05, 2013 Apr 5, 2013 Friday, April 05 2013 April 05, 2013 5:30 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Michael Shingleton

BATON ROUGE - At the top of the The Capital Region Legislative Delegation's agenda is a study to improve Airline Highway.

On their Facebook page, legislators outlined plans to study turning Airline into a corridor of a regional freeway system.

"The new interstate-style roadway would link I-10 EBR, I-12, I-110, US 190, and I-10 WBR," the site says.

The post said $5.5 million would be needed "to study an alternate route using Airline Hwy promoting urban renewal in a heavily blighted area of Baton Rouge."

The plan would include frontage roads lining the proposed freeway, giving easy access for businesses to build and develop.

Many patrons and employees of La Fonda Restaurant and Lounge wish this would have happened years ago. After nearly 53 years serving iconic margaritas and fresh Tex-Mex cuisine, the restaurant is closing its doors for good.

"It would have been much different for us. We probably could have still stayed open," Mary Ann Bolger, one of the owners, said. "People just don't come this far sometimes."

Due to traffic, the highly industrialized Airline Hwy, and more restaurant options in south Baton Rouge, Bolger said shutting down was inevitable.

"The area has gotten so commercial. The traffic in Baton Rouge has gotten horrible," Bolger explained. "A lot of people just don't want to travel that far to come over to this side of town." 

Bolger didn't know about the delegation's push for improving Airline before Friday, and said, "unfortunately that's only one day before we close. It's been a wonderful experience. Our customers have been phenomenal. The number of people that have come in has overwhelmed us. It's heartwarming, but it's very sad at the same time."

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