3132apedia by Elliott Stonecipher

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A New and Far Superior Hwy. 3132 Extension Route

September 30, 2015

On May 8th, I last reported on the seemingly endless Stage 1 Feasibility Study of and for our Hwy. 3132 Extension to the Port of Caddo-Bossier.  I wrote to report on a "public meeting" which had been staged by the small army of "highway planning" officials responsible for the project.

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* The articles I have written for our Finish 3132 Coalition are available, here.  The first, on May 8, 2011, was written one month after the Extension was effectively killed by the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments.  A timeline of key events is here.  All of my work is pro bono.

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Now, however, there is much more to report:  a new route, far safer and less expensive.  

No, this is not just one more route option among those being "studied" by the aforementioned small army of "highway planners," led by our Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG).  Unlike those supposed route options, this one has been hiding in plain sight, AND being planned and readied for actual construction within the foreseeable future.  

Making All of This Official      

Yesterday, our Finish 3132 Coalition lead attorney, Billy R. Pesnell of The Pesnell Law Firm, wrote a very important letter to Kent Rogers, the NLCOG top guy, with copies to a list of fourteen other officials responsible for this critical piece of public business.  The letter takes involved officials to task for many aspects of the underlying process of the Stage 1 Study.  (Click here to read Mr. Pesnell's letter.)

Then, after fulfilling its purpose in the context of the existing Study, the letter sets out our Coalition's belief that a far superior route is staring us all in the face:  the segment of Interstate 69 which is between I-49 on the west and the Port of Caddo-Bossier on LA Hwy. 1 on the east.  

From just below Stonewall in DeSoto Parish, moving north and east below Wallace Lake and then to the Port, the 8-to-9 mile interstate highway segment would keep all associated truck traffic completely out of our urban area, and thus redirect all that traffic to either I-49 or I-69.  Truck traffic from all directions would move unimpeded to the Port.  (Click here to see the highway route, in purple between I-49 and LA. Hwy. 1.

The following are merely the most obvious advantages of this new route

1.  a.  Most importantly, this route has already been approved for right-of-way acquisition and construction, and awaits funding.  The formal such declaration by highway construction authorities is called a "R.O.D.," meaning "Record of Decision."  In highway planning parlance, that absolutely key document (click to read the Decision, Pages 1-4) green-lights construction of the segment.  No official cares to guess how many years it would be before a R.O.D. on any inner-city Extension route could be obtained.

1.  b.  Given the R.O.D., this segment of I-69 in no way awaits any approvals of any other segment of I-69, i.e., it has "independent utility."

2.  a.  Trucks headed to the Port from points south, e.g., I-10 to I-49, will have a much shorter and safer trip.  Those headed to the Port from the west and east of Shreveport will drive fifteen miles further south from I-20, or 11 miles south of the I-49 intersection with Hwy. 3132, before turning northeast on I-69 to the Port.  No truck is required to fight inner-city traffic.

2.  b.  Thus, public safety would be maximally protected!  This is a fact whether in the context of automobile accident injuries and fatalities along Flournoy-Lucas between Hwy. 3132 and Youree Drive / Hwy. 1, or from the risks of hazardous material spills anywhere within Shreveport and Bossier City, particularly including Downtown areas.

3.  Development in the Southeast Shreveport / Caddo area, particularly in the area of any possible Extension routes within the city and parish limits, could proceed without consideration of construction of the Extension to the Port.

4.  The costs to taxpayers would be notably lower, e.g., the land required for the Extension from Flournoy-Lucas directly to the Port, or to I-69 and then to the Port, would be hugely higher than the costs of the undeveloped DeSoto and Caddo Parish land required for the I-69 segment.   

Now, four-and-a-half-years into this work, we discover this route was available all along, with the R.O.D. wrapped up over three years ago, in April 2012.  Notwithstanding whatever reasons there actually are for that fact, this one has WINNER stamped all over it.

Video Updates

May 27, 2014
Elliott Stonecipher, spokesperson for the Finish 3132 Coalition, offers an update on the project.
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(5/27/2014)

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