Iberville residents show up for second DOTD meeting on new Mississippi River bridge location
ST. GABRIEL - The state Department of Transportation is still trying to nail down a location for a new bridge over the Mississippi, and people made their way to the St. Gabriel Community Center to have their voices heard on a location selected in Iberville Parish.
“I believe taxpayers really deserve a bridge that will serve as many people as possible,” Iberville resident Lynn Owens said.
“We have the infrastructure in Iberville Parish for it. We have nothing in the way. We can do it right here in Iberville,” Wayne Brigalia, another Iberville resident, said.
The thought of a bridge in Iberville Parish seemed to be a central theme of the meeting.
“We need the bridge. I'm for it,” resident Jim Owens said.
DOTD is hosting six different meetings all in different locations.
“So far, we're two for two. We've had a really great turnout at both of our events, and that's what we're shooting for, because as you and I have discussed public comment, public involvement is very important to move these projects forward,” explained Rodney Mallett with DOTD.
Seven of the ten locations left for consideration are in Iberville parish, so there's a good possibility it may be selected, even though there did seem to be overwhelming support for the bridge.
“In Iberville Parish, I'm okay with that being a possibility,” resident Marie Comeaux said.
Residents did still have some concerns.
“My main concern with some of the bridge options is that they cut directly through protected green spaces,” Comeaux added.
And like Monday night's meeting, whether they were for or against it, attendees were passionate about this hot topic.
“I live here. You know, I'm involved in the community, and I been fighting for a bridge way before 2007. And I'm not going to give up 'til I see the bridge here,” Briglia said.
Now, of course, every single person was not in favor of Iberville being the location.
Some people described the bridge proposal as being an "expensive band-aid" that will create more traffic problems.
The next meeting is Wednesday night at the Addis Community Center in West Baton Rouge Parish.
For a list of all six meetings, see below:
-Monday, April 25 - East Baton Rouge Parish from 5-7 p.m. at Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library, Baton Rouge
-Tuesday, April 26 - Iberville Parish, East Bank from 5-7 p.m. at St. Gabriel Community Center
-Wednesday, April 27 - West Baton Rouge Parish from 5-7 p.m. at Addis Community Center
-Thursday, April 28 - Ascension Parish, West Bank from 5-7 p.m. at Donaldsonville High School Gym
-Monday, May 2 - Ascension Parish, East Bank from 5-7 p.m. at Lamar Dixon Expo Center Banquet Hall
-Tuesday, May 3 - Iberville Parish, West Bank from 5-7 p.m. at Carl F. Grant Civic Center
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