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Section of Lee Drive expected to get a facelift

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Baton Rouge - The section of Lee Drive between Highland and Perkins Road is getting an upgrade.

The busy, narrow roadway could soon get an extra lane to accommodate heavy traffic.

"It's a lot of traffic that runs through that street, and the delicate part is trying to balance that within the residential areas because they don't want a four, five-lane roadway," said East Baton Rouge's Transportation Director, Fred Raiford.

The project is part of MOVEBR, a plan to improve transportation and infrastructure across the Metro Area. The Lee Drive facelift will include sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, and bus stops.

"At this point, we have some designs that we are looking at," Raiford said. "We are trying to verify some locations and what we need from a "right away" standpoint."

Construction won't begin until 2023, but lane closures are expected Monday through Thursday of next week. Crews will begin checking the drainage in the area, which also gets an upgrade.

"We do have some issues in that area, yes we do," Raiford said. "We will be enhancing that drainage tremendously. We will be able to put most of it in a pipe conduit to bring it to various locations where it's supposed to drain. Most of it will be to the Dawson Creek area and by the south where Bayou Duplantier is."

Once the city has a solid plan, they want to hear from the public.

"So, there's been a lot of questions of how this is going to be handled, and, certainly, we are looking at this very closely and trying to build and come up with some multiple plans here," Raiford said.

As of now, the project is in the design phase, and meetings for the public will start early next year.

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