You just have a few days left to get your comments in on the proposed I-49 Inner City Connector (ICC). We’re asking that you send comments stating your opposition to Alt Route 3A, one that we believe is especially damaging to Downtown.
Opposition to 3A so far includes the Downtown Development Authority(DDA), the Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation(DSDC), the Shreveport Water Works and Shreveport Railroad Museums and others. The DDA/DSDC shared our feelings in January to all members of the Board of Directors of the NLCOG (North Louisiana Council of Governments) and the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).
Here’s the look at Alternate 3A.
The meandering route goes over Twelve Mile Bayou and Cross Bayou, then right over the McNeil Street Pumping Station/Shreveport Water Works Museum, a 136-year-old National Historic Landmark, which also has the rare distinction of being a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and a Historic American Water Landmark. “Today, the entire physical plant (pumps, filters and other machinery) remains in place after more than 100 years of service and is a rare example of an intact steam water works, ” says the SWWM website. The plant is so unique that the Smithsonian Institute has visited more than once. “It is believed by the Smithsonian to be the last operating steam powered municipal water works in America.”
According to the map of Alternate 3A provided by NLCOG and Providence Engineering, the interstate will go over the Ozone Room and other out buildings and through the front entrance of the museum, putting the high speed interstate just feet from the front door.
Just to the south, proposed alternate 3A runs adjacent to the City of Shreveport’s Choice Neighborhoods Bayou Grande Apartments. This was a fiercely competitive multi-year grant process in which the City of Shreveport prevailed in winning a $24.2m grant from the federal government to create housing and workforce development along the west edge of downtown’s Central Business District, Allendale and Ledbetter Heights. 122 additional housing units and commercial space that are part of the Bayou Grande apartment phase of the project are expected to be available in 2023. The 3A high speed on ramps are planned to take up a large expanse of Caddo Street for several blocks east of Common and will run through a residential neighborhood, now filled with children.
The proposed route also impacts developable tracts along historic Cross Bayou.
In the Powerpoint presented at the NLCOG meeting, slide #8 states: “Identification of an alternative that could minimize impacts to historic districts resulted in a request to define the alternative and its potential impacts. The Project Team (NLCOG, DOTD, FHWA,consultant team) has developed a scope to determine if Build Alternative 3A is a viable alternative. The level of study involves geometrics, structure
types, interchange types, traffic projections, and constructability. It is anticipated that 4 months will be necessary to
complete this study.” It is important to note that the Alternate 3A does impact the St. Paul’s Bottoms Historic District and the Downtown Shreveport Commercial Historic District, an important district that is seeing significant public and private investment.
Two articles about the St. Paul’s Bottoms Historic District.
Please attend the Oct. 17 meeting at the Shreveport Convention Center to learn more about 3A and the other routes, and leave a comment regarding your thoughts on the ICC.