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Perkins plans

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BATON ROUGE - A first-hand look at an effort to widen Perkins Road from Siegen to Highland has some concerned about the construction plan.

The project has been in the works for 10 years and Wednesday, the Department of Transportation and Development along with city-parish government presented its plan for turning the section of road into four lanes. The plan also calls for bike lanes on both sides, sidewalks and all three include a large median between 16 and 30 feet.

There are no turn lanes included along this stretch. It would include j-turns similar to those on Staring Lane, for cars to turn around.

"Every business would be affected," said business owner David Jacobs.

Since 2002, Jacobs has owned Le Reyna on Perkins Rd. While Jacobs is not against the expansion of the road, he's concerned his lunch crowd will be unable to reach him.

"[It] will definitely affect my business," he said. "Not only during the construction, but afterward I believe it's not going to give me enough access."

Dozens of other businesses have similar concerns about access from the road.

Project managers say the widening is crucial as the city grows and will listen to comments from the public.

"If there's an accident along I-10, the only place to go is either Nicholson or up to Airline. There is no other relief in this area," said Green Light Project Manager Jonathan Charbonnet.

The project is still years off. An environmental study will be complete sometime next year. Part of the project will be funded by tax-payer dollars, the rest by federal funding.

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