BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The Bossier City Council will soon vote on whether to fund the second phase of the Airline Drive traffic relief road project.
The first phase of a new road meant to take cars off of Airline Drive is taking shape. The Bossier City Council approved of the first $7 million phase in February of 2014.
The road started construction in June of 2014 and will stretch from Viking Drive to the now under construction George Dement Drive, which will lead into the new shopping district going in between Home Depot and Walmart. Kroger Marketplace will anchor the high-end shopping center that will include Hobby Lobby, Panda Express and Panera Bread.
Now, the council is scheduled to vote again at their January 20, 2015 meeting on whether to fund the second phase for $6,281,000 million.
The second phase would extend the traffic relief road south from George Dement Drive to Douglas and Plantation Drive, which currently are dead end roads.
Most business owners in the area tell KSLA News 12 they are all on the same page with the project and say they just want another way for their customers to access the businesses on and off of Airline Drive without having to get caught in all of the traffic.
Gerry Shephard who works at Yellow Ribbon Formal Wear dress shop says their shopping center on Douglas Drive sees their fair share of customers, but the traffic is always on their minds.
"My customers complain about it, but they make it through anyway," said Shephard.
Salon Maranda and Co. Hair stylist Amber Barnette says a lot of their clients try to schedule their appointments around the traffic.
"Our clients are late, they complain 24/7 about the traffic," said Barnette.
K Coutoure Boutique Owner Kim Tran believes only one thing will take their headaches away. "We only have Airline and Benton Road, we need a new road," said Tran.
While Phase I of the Ariline Drive traffic relief road project would provide a new road, it's the project's second phase that would directly affect the business owners on Douglas Drive. That's because the road would give their customers new access to their stores without having to battle traffic down Airline Drive.
"To have another route besides Airline Drive would do well," said Amber Barnette.
"I think it would make our customers much happier," said Shephard.
Bossier City Spokesman Mark Natale says there are more details to the project than what is outlined in the ordinance the council will vote on.
Those details will be discussed at the city council agenda meeting on January 13, 2015. The council will vote on funding the second phase of the project the following Tuesday on January 20, 2015.
Kroger Southwest Media Representative Gary Huddleston says they asked the city to build the roads leading up to the store and planned shopping center as part of the deal to build there. According to Huddleston, progress is being made on the new Kroger marketplace on Airline Drive.
This will be the first Kroger Marketplace in the state of Louisiana. Huddleston says construction of the store will continue while the road undergoes construction.
The store will employee about 250 people and is expected to open in late 2015.