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City-Parish announces upcoming project to remove homeless camps at O'Neal Lane underpass

3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2024 Jun 19, 2024 June 19, 2024 2:50 PM June 19, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A fenced-in underpass may be coming to O'Neal Lane to remove the homeless camps there.

City-Parish director of Transportation and Drainage, Fred Raiford, says he has been working closely with the department and a contractor to find a solution for the never-ending camps under and near the O'Neal Lane underpass. 

Raiford said they are having their last planning meeting Wednesday to go over logistics before moving forward.

"You've got to have something that's resistant from people from getting into it," Raiford said. "You can't have it where they can cut the wires and stuff like that to get in. We've done a pretty good analysis of what we would like it to look like."

The same thing was done on Siegen Lane last year using barricades and barriers.

However, because of how large the O'Neal Lane underpass is, a barrier there will require a more in-depth approach.

"I think it's important we try to have a product that works, but it has to be from an aesthetic standpoint, which this fencing is," Raiford continued.

The department will use the Clear VU fencing system that will wrap around all sides of the underpass.

Raiford says he's not sure of a price but he would rather pay more to ensure it's right the first time.

The equipment for the process could take four to five weeks alone to come in. The plan will go before the Metro Council and, if passed, go to the Mayor.

The timeline for the project is unknown.

"Yes, it's taking a little longer. Everybody says 'Why is it taking long?' It's not a simple process. We're trying to find ways to keep them out be sure that they can't get in there," Raiford said.

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