BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Two projects in Bossier City are shaping up to bring some popular restaurants and businesses to the area.
The Airline Drive traffic relief road project and the Kroger MarketPlace shopping center are currently under construction, but nearing completion.
In February of 2014, Bossier City Council unanimously approved the use of $7 million in riverboat gaming funds to pay for the construction of new roads designed to provide traffic relief in and around a proposed high-end Kroger development off of Airline Dr.
The initial phase of the traffic relief road stretches from Viking Drive to the now nearly complete George Dement Boulevard, which will lead into the new shopping district going between Home Depot and Walmart.
The council voted again in January 2015, this time to allocate a little more than $6 million to fund the second phase of the traffic relief road. The second phase includes widening and upgrading Douglas Drive from Airline Drive to the Plantation Drive extension where both roads will be connected. According to Bossier City Spokesman Mark Natale, work on the second phase began this past spring.
Kroger Southwest Media Representative Gary Huddleston told KSLA News 12 when the project first surfaced that the company asked the city to build the roads leading up to the store and planned shopping center as part of the deal to build there.
The widening of Douglas Drive is currently underway, bringing some traffic headaches for nearby businesses.
"The construction is kind of rough," said Kim Tran, the owner of K Couture Boutique, but the knowing the end result will be a way to skip the congestion on Airline Drive eases some of the pain.
"I can't wait, I'm excited. Everybody will be happy to pass through and it will give us some more business," said Tran.
Meanwhile, work on the marketplace shopping center itself continues. Helicopters recently lowered refrigeration equipment to the roof of the new Kroger building, "We have found this is much more economical than having a crane hoist the equipment," said Huddleston.
More businesses have been added to the shopping center roster within the past couple of months, including: Chipotle, Jimmy Johns, Whataburger, and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Huddleston says the Kroger Marketplace is projected to be completed by early December 2015.
According to Natale, phase one of the traffic relief project is expected to be opened by late July or early August. The widening of Douglas Drive is expected to be finished by early fall and the entirety of phase two is expected to be completed by Spring of 2016.