Consultants sought to plan for proposed commuter train along I-10
BATON ROUGE – A consultant will be hired in the next six weeks or so to plan and design passenger rail stations for a rail line that could one day connect the Capital City with the Crescent City.
Despite there being nearly $500,000 for concept planning, there's no concrete plan in place – or funding – for commuter rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Though, city planners hope this step is the first to making the dream a reality.
In a news release Thursday morning, the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority asked consultants to bid on a $450,000 project to chose sites for rail stations in downtown Baton Rouge and near health care facilities off Essen Lane or Bluebonnet. Site selection and design of the stations would be covered by the contract, which could be awarded in October.
Designers would have a year to plan and design the stations before making them public.
The hope is, the stations in Baton Rouge would be linked by train service rolling along an existing line with an updated rail. A train would run between Louisiana's two major, southern cities, and make additional stops in Gonzales, LaPlace and the New Orleans airport.
Supporters argue the rail service would help ease some congestion on I-10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
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