Baton Rouge Loop meeting set for Ascension

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE – A public meeting for Ascension Parish has been announced for the next phase of the Baton Rouge Loop.

The meeting will be March 23 from 5-8 p.m. at the Gonzales Civic Center, 219 S. Irma Blvd.

Based on engineering, environmental, agency, community, and finance inputs, corridor alternatives identified during the initial stages of the Implementation Plan were refined to a set of locally preferred corridor alternatives. 

The alternatives are being advanced into the Environmental Impact Statement phase of the project, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration. 

The Tier 1 EIS, currently underway, will consider environmental impacts, public input, and agency concerns, resulting in a single loop route.  

Tier 2 EIS phases, to identify specific design features and other details, will follow.

“This milestone marks an important next step in the federally mandated schedule for such an expansive project,” said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden, who serves as Chairman of the Capital Area Expressway Authority. “Baton Rouge and neighboring parishes are well on the way to benefiting from a vital transportation component that will allow us to meet the growing needs of our region.”

The project is an initiative of the CAEA, which is lead by the parish presidents of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge parishes and the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Similar to the public meetings held during the earlier phase of the project, the group is slated to hold three rounds of public meetings in each of the five parishes to share information and gain feedback from the public.

The Baton Rouge Loop project is proposed as an 80 to 90 mile long circumferential controlled access free-flow toll roadway around Baton Rouge to relieve traffic congestion in the area.

The loop would initially be constructed as a four-lane facility with the ability to add at least two additional lanes, one in each direction, in the median when traffic demands warrant. 

The proposed typical section also provides space within the right-of-way to add continuous frontage roads, if needed. Bike paths and transit could potentially share the footprint.