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Subject: [LA-CEMETERY-PRESERVATION] I-49 Corridor could affect cemeteries inShreveport's historic neighborhoods
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 09:37:27 -0800 (PST)
I-49 inner-city corridor input sought
By John Andrew Prime
Planners know where Interstate 49 will begin its journey north through old Shreveport and where it will connect with I-220 south of the Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood.
But the territory in between is a three-mile stretch fraught with perils that include school, parks, cemeteries and churches, any of which could turn a smooth process of route planning into a political game of roundball.
Hoping to avoid troubles that delayed past road and bridge projects, notably the I-220 bridge over Cross lake, the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments on Thursday held an initial stakeholders meeting to kick off an 18-month study to help determine the best corridor through Shreveport's historic Allendale neighborhood.
"The most important thing we need to get is citizen input," said Perry Franklin, head of Franklin Industries, which with fellow Baton Rouge-based Providence Engineering will conduct the study.
Franklin and Phillip Parker, of Providence, along with NLCOG Executive Director Kent Rogers, met with elected representatives, city officials and agencies concerned with the future of Allendale and the completion of I-49.
A route on foamboard dominated the meeting, but that was a 30-year-old proposal on imagery that itself is a few years old, so that was a basis for discussion only.
"This line is going to come off the map," was the first thing Rogers said at the meeting.
As many as a dozen more meetings will be held through the proposed end of the study in September 2010, covering data analysis, conceptual engineering, purposes and needs, at least three alternative routes and a no-route proposal, and the results of field work and impact analysis.
A public town hall-type meeting will be held next March, following a series of future stakeholder meetings starting this June.
In addition to talking with community leaders, preachers, everyday citizens and the public that contacts them, planners will set up a Web site and establish e-mail contacts.
"A straight line from here to here would be easy," Rogers said, pointing to the known tie-in-points with existing or planned I-49 routes. "But that's not the way we want to do this. We need to make sure we have heard the voice of the community."
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