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More details on new Mississippi River bridge proposal could come Monday

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BATON ROUGE - Sunday driving in Baton Rouge is a breeze, but Monday morning brings the stop-and-go traffic we're known for. Monday afternoon could tell us more about a proposed solution. 

The Capital Area Road and Bridge District will meet Monday afternoon to get an update about long-discussed plans for a new bridge across the Mississippi River.

Scott Kirkpatrick is the executive director of the Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, a transportation advocacy group.

"We're looking at locations you'll see in the Brusly, Addis, St. Gabriel, Plaquemines areas," Kirkpatrick said. 

Officials recently narrowed down a list of possible locations from 32 to 17 a few months ago, with the goal of naming just three by next summer.

"We'll start work on those final three or so locations, get more public input and then begin some of the design work... Then really find that last final site and design the bridge and connectors and go from there."

Even then, it could be some time before a ground-breaking.

Most of the funding needed for the project was secured during this past legislative session. A federal review process needs to happen to get the final federal dollars to make this vision a reality.

"Because of that federal process, they're going through a lot of due diligence, checking a lot of boxes. A big and robust environmental process, making sure that the communities are accepting of these locations."

That meeting of the Capital Area Road and Bridge district begins 2 p.m. Monday at the State Capitol.


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