SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce is using basic geometry to make their point to lawmakers in Washington D.C. about building the I-49 inner city connector and completing the 3132 Inner Loop, direct to the Port of Shreveport/Bossier.
"It's a no-brainer," says Robert Dean, the chamber's chairman of the board.
Dean, other members of the chamber and a handful of business leaders are in D.C. this week, bending the ears of legislators with ties to Louisiana. The mission of the trip, called CC to DC, is to share their concerns about completing I-49, the Army's handling of the dangerous propellant at nearby Camp Minden and a number of other pressing issues.
"For transportation efficiency, the original corridor is the one that makes the most sense," Dean adds.
The original corridor mapped a path through the Allendale neighborhood, direct from where I-49 ends at I-20 and angling out to I-220 where I-49 across north Caddo Parish is being completed. However a few years ago, another group began a push to 'loop it', to make the existing 3132 Inner Loop and I-220 paths through Shreveport the new I-49.
"The chamber and our members are very much in favor of the inner city connector."
There are 4 different inner city connector options. Three pass through Allendale while a fourth is mapped through the Ledbetter Heights and Allendale neighborhoods. Environmental studies on those four options have already been completed by an engineering company. The fifth and final report, on the 'Loop It' option, is due this spring. And after a series of public meetings on the matter, the voting panel of the North Louisiana Council of Governments will decided on what is best for the city. That vote could come as early as this year.
"It's kind of like baseball," adds Dean.
"We've got our foot hovering over home plate. And we can finish the two little spurs of road and basically bring to fruition the full ability fo utilize the assets of I-49, 3132 and the port."