The Capital Area Expressway Authority is still pushing for the Loop in spite of opposition from citizens, elected parish and state officials, and CAEA members themselves who resigned from the BR Loop project.
This Is Where We Are Today
Across America communities usually try to achieve the correct mix of progress while still maintaining the sense of self that makes each and every one a unique place to live and work. To accomplish this goal it is necessary for the elected leaders of the community to make the right decisions for their citizens. To do this they must listen to the voices of their citizens.
Making these decisions is not always easy. Sometimes it is harder than others. But, it is a necessary function of their office. The right thing is sometimes not easy to determine without input from the citizens themselves.
The members of the local community of Livingston Parish in 2010 expressed their opposition to the Baton Rouge Loop. As a result of this opposition and other Parishes dropping their support of the proposed project new funding was vetoed by the governor of Louisiana.
Due to this opposition -- we were looking for a proposal that the entire region could get behind and make for a unified project supported by all of the stakeholders. After reading the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, unfortunately, we found that we have been presented a rehash of the original proposal. There are too many portions of this proposal that are not acceptable to many of the stakeholders. We've compliled some of our concerns from the study and have listed them in the link on the sidebar.
One of the major problems with this proposal is that they are asking for a Build/No Build resolution at this point in time. There is no defined route for the loop. There is no defined funding for the loop. There are no defined widths for the loop right-of-way. It is another situation of being asked to support and approve a project without knowing its scope or impact.
It seems as though we have been here before and projects with these types of undefined parameters often cause disaster when the actual definition comes. Let the public beware!
We have learned that the Submitting entity - the Baton Rouge Group - MUST respond to all questions/objections/concerns/issues expressed to them in writing before the Federal Highway Administration can consider the Tier 1 approval. Upon reading the Tier 1 Environmental Impact study, we were able to identify over sixty (60) concerns that you can read by clicking on the List of Concerns. Your letter should state your position on the BR Loop and also your reasons as to why you have specific concerns.
Your comments may be submitted via the project website, at the Public Hearing or by U.S. mail post marked by January 23, 2012, to:
Attn: Suzanne McCain: P.E.
9100 Bluebonnet Centre Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
We suggest that you also send a copy of your written concerns to the DOTD at:
Attn: Sherri LaBas, Secretary
PO Box 94245
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245
and, to the Federal Highway Administration at:
Federal Highway Administration Louisiana Division
Attn: Carl Highsmith
5304 Flanders Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808