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Plans in final stages for Government Street lane reduction

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BATON ROUGE – Changes are coming to Government Street as officials finalize their plans to reduce it from four lanes to two.

The plans are an attempt to reduce traffic, revitalize the area and make the area safer for cars and pedestrians.

However, many business owners along the street are not looking forward to it due to all the construction that comes along with the project.

Sean Braswell is an owner of a cafe in mid-city and he, along with other owners, are bracing for major changes.

"I'm for it and against it," Braswell said. "For it, in the sense that I'd like to see more pedestrian walk-ways bike riders and such."

According to DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet, most of Government Street, from downtown to Lobdell, will be reduced from four lanes to two with a turning lane in between.

The idea is to make Government Street similar to Magazine Street in New Orleans. A street were people can walk, shop and ride their bikes.

"So it's going to be more of a pedestrian-friendly area," Mallet said.

Braswell says that he is open to the idea, but does have a little doubt.

"So, I can see it I just don't know if we'll ever be like a New Orleans in Baton Rouge," Braswell said. "I'm against it because construction is death for a business," he said.

DOTD says the project will cost about $10 to $12 million and construction is expected to last anywhere from 18 months to two years.

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