LETTER: Loop possibilities explored by reader

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Residents and property owners in Port Vincent, Galvez, Prairieville, Dutchtown and Geismar need to become engaged with the threats to their communities by the proposed Baton Rouge Loop.

•  If the loop is a toll road it will be built through north Ascension Parish as the toll revenue for the southern (Sorrento) route provides insufficient toll revenue, as reported in The Weekly Citizen 3/11/08 and The Advocate 7/3/09 and 7/12/09.

• Tommy Martinez cannot prevent the Loop in the north end of Ascension because he is only one of the five votes on the BR Loop Executive Committee.

• Politicians not accountable to Ascension residents are making Loop decisions. Kip Holden requested Congressman Bill Cassidy provide a $20 million federal earmark funding for a Loop environmental study evidently without a vote of the BR Loop Executive Committee as Tommy Martinez was not even aware of this funding request.

• BR Loop will not make public their preferred location for the southern Loop bridge, though they have announced their preferred location for the northern Loop Bridge.

• Once the loop route is announced your property values plummet immediately, though the actual expropriation of your property and construction are five to 10 years away.

• The proposed loop will expedite the flight of the tax base from Baton Rouge due to rising crime, failing public schools and rising taxes. A bypass on the west side of the river for east/west traffic would not encourage tax base flight out of Baton Rouge and is a far less costly traffic solution.

Do not be distracted by the ruse of a Sorrento area Loop route. North Ascension property owners must become vigorously engaged in opposition to the proposed loop by requesting that all state and federal funding be diverted to study/construction of a bypass on the west side of the Mississippi River. This can be accomplished by contacting state representatives Eddie Lambert, Mert Smiley, Congressman Bill Cassidy and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Harold Magee