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Mayor Invites Developer and NLCOG to Present to Council

April 25, 2012

Although it was nowhere to be found on the agenda made available in advance to the public, a presentation about the progress of the southern extension of Louisiana Highway 3132 (The Inner Loop) was offered to the Shreveport City Council during its meeting on April 24.

At the invitation of Mayor Cedric Glover, Kent Rogers, the executive director of the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), explained a seven-step process (labeled as stages zero to six) necessary to complete the construction of the highway. Rogers advised the council that Stage Zero is ongoing while the “scope of services” for Stage One is being determined. He said that NLCOG and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) have agreed “to work as fast as possible to get this project moving along.” Rogers mentioned that a route for the extension has not been officially identified, but discussed at some length the idea of 3132 at some time in the future tying in to the long-planned Interstate 69.

Also at the request of Mayor Glover, Tim Larkin of Larkin Development addressed the council. Larkin’s company is developing Esplanade, a residential community which is situated near the presumed path of the 3132 southern extension. Larkin advised the council that $12.5 million has already been invested in Esplanade’s infrastructure. He pledged “to harmonize our development with 3132, assuming it will be extended.”

During both presentations, however, the possibility that the highway will not be extended was mentioned. Rogers said “no build” is still an option, and Larkin added that his company has in hand an option “to utilize (Esplanade) property should the road not be built.”

Larkin displayed a satellite image of the affected area which featured a graphic outlining his property, as well as an artist’s representation of a possible route for the 3132 extension. The route showed the highway meandering east of Esplanade and heading in the general direction of Louisiana Highway 1.

In his introductory remarks, Mayor Glover expressed a desire “to present good, accurate information to the public so this process can move forward.”

District F Councilman Joe Shyne engaged both presenters, expressing uncertainty about the future of I-69, saying to Rogers, “You and I will both be up with St. Peter before I-69 is thought of again.” Shyne clarified that remark, saying the construction of I-69 is far from a certainty and is years from completion if it is built. He reinforced that “3132 should tie into Highway 1. There are a lot of people along Flournoy Lucas Road who are counting on (3132). We need to support the port. We can’t wait on I-69.”

Highway 3132 has for some time been considered by many to be a vital artery to service truck traffic into and out of The Port of Shreveport-Bossier.

District D councilman Michael Corbin, following an extended dialogue between Larkin and other council members, said “we shouldn’t be throwing darts at a developer” who is hoping to bring a high-end residential community into the city. Corbin added , “3132 and what Mr. Larkin is trying to develop are not related.”

Larkin insisted “Our development will not be in conflict with the roadway (3132) that will be built.”
He also advised that Esplanade’s infrastructure “is complete except for the last leg of the access road, which is identified but not paved.”

The last leg of the access road, which Larkin hopes to build to give access to Esplanade to and from East Flournoy Lucas Road, is at the center of the debate about how it may affect the future of the 3132 extension.

At the conclusion of the presentations and subsequent extended discussions, Mayor Glover thanked Rogers and Larkin for “good, accurate, unfiltered information presented to the public.”

Later in the meeting, during an opportunity for public comments, two citizens addressed the council on the subject of Esplanade and how it may affect the construction of the 3132 southern extension. Darrell Rebouche, a resident of Acadiana Place, told the council that he travels Flournoy Lucas road several times a day and that he wanted to clear up what he thought to be some confusion caused by Rogers and Larkin’s presentations. He sought to make it clear that the map presented by Larkin does not represent a route officially identified by DOTD for the 3132 extension. He pointed out that Rogers and Larkin both had mentioned the “no build” option.

Willie Bradford, a member of the Finish 3132 Coalition, expressed deep concern that the presentations had not been wholly accurate and that several aspects may have been misleading. He requested time for the coalition to address these concerns at the next council meeting. Councilman Shyne and Mayor Glover each stated that the time could be set aside for the coalition’s response.

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