Published: Apr. 10, 2019
By: Trey Couvillion, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — Two months have come and gone since the first meeting of the Capital Area Road and Bridge District, the newly formed coalition trying to develop a new bridge over the Mississippi River.
Drivers from all over the capital region and commuters from Lafayette, New Orleans and Lake Charles feel the strain of the more than 100,000 vehicles crossing the Mississippi River daily. The new bridge, supporters hope, will solve traffic woes in the Baton Rouge area.
But the price tag and location are still unclear.
Officials of the five parishes in the area met again on Tuesday. They selected Jay Campbell, the former president and chief executive of Associated Grocers, appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, as chairman of the board and discussed plans to pick a project manager.
Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development estimates that the bridge alone could cost anywhere between $733 million and $1.06 billion in the five options laid out in a 2016 study.
Deputy Transportation Secretary Eric Kallivoda said agency officials would meet with the modeling staff of the Capital Region Planning Commission to discuss the best locations.
West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Berthelot Jr. said, however, that state officials had eliminated the most northern and southern options, leaving three possible bridge sites.
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