Could a new road built through College Drive parking lots fix traffic woes? New project says yes

Could a new road built through College Drive parking lots fix traffic woes? New project says yes
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A new project to revamp College Drive could cut travel time on the road by up to 43% during peak times, city planners say.

The College Drive Corridor Enhancement Project, a part of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s “MovEBR” Initiative, seeks to renovate a 3,900-foot stretch of College Drive from Perkins Road to Bawell Street for an estimated cost of $50 million.

“No. 1, we’ve had a lot of issues dealing with College Drive,” said Baton Rouge Transportation Director Fred Raiford III. “I’ve heard from drivers and businesspeople multiple times a week: ‘What are we going to do to address the congestion?’”

Among the project’s goals, which were presented at an Open House on Tuesday evening, include a third northbound lane on College Drive, upgrades to traffic signals, sidewalks and a new back road to access businesses along College Drive.

That back road will expand Concord Avenue to include pre-existing paths in the parking lots of Hobby Lobby and Walmart, and will prevent motorists from having to turn directly into business parking lots from College Drive.

A map of the College Drive area shows proposed changes to the roads under the new MovEBR initiative project.

These changes are projected to reduce crashes at the intersection of College and Concord by 25%, according to project planners.

At the busy intersection of College and Perkins Road, traffic delays could be reduced by up to a third.

Raiford said the project should be complete by the first quarter of 2025, before interstate lanes are restricted for the major Interstate 10 widening project.

“I think what we’ve done is outside the box,” he said. “It’s always easy to widen the road, but that doesn’t always solve things.”

In addition to these plans for College Drive, state officials are currently working on a $52.3-million project to build new westbound Interstate 12 traffic lanes and an upgraded I-10 westbound bridge.

I-10 I-12 split College Dr exit map

Plans for a new College Drive exit and I-10/I-12 split: State transportation officials broke ground Tuesday on a new exit for College Drive from Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. The new design aims to remove the current exit to College, which requires drivers on I-10 to merge abruptly across several lanes of traffic.

The College Drive project is just one of 71 planned under Broome’s billion-dollar, 30-year “MovEBR” initiative to aid the city’s traffic woes, funded through a half-cent sales tax that started in 2019.

MovEBR completed its 14th project earlier this month, which repaired sidewalks and improved ADA compliance on Florida Street downtown. The initiative’s projects are slated to take place over about the next 30 years.

Broome’s MovEBR plan hasn’t been entirely seamless, though — in February, a judge ordered East Baton Rouge to pay $103,000 to a family whose land was needed for a MovEBR project on Old Hammond Highway. The city-parish filed a lawsuit against the family in 2021 in an attempt to expropriate the property, a move the judge said rushed negotiations.


About Mary Weyand 12323 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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