Bossier City leaders' approach to boom is 'controlled growth'

Keeping up with Bossier's boom

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Money, the magazine, rates it as the best place to live in Louisiana.

And more and more people are putting down roots in Bossier City.

So how do municipal officials plan to keep up with the growing numbers when it comes to traffic, housing and public safety?

With close to 70,000 people now living in Bossier City, sitting in traffic can be common.

That's likely to get worse if population projections prove to be true. The city is expected to grow by at least 3,000 people in the coming years

Mayor Lo Walker sees the silver lining in having traffic.

And several projects are in the works to help relieve congestion.

Bossier City hopes to finish widening Shed Road by the middle of the year.

The city also plans to widen Viking Drive and extend Arthur Teague Parkway to join with Benton Road, the mayor said.

"We're doing a lot on roads within the city, dedicated turn lanes, and things like that to make traffic flow move slowly."

Housing also is something the city has had to look at carefully.

Four different subdivisions are in the works, including three in South Bossier, an area that normally has not seen development at the same rate as North Bossier.

"We are going to continue to grow," Walker said.

"But we're going to be very very careful that we don't take in big areas unless we can support them with police and fire."

Bossier City MPC Executive Director Sam Marsiglia said the infrastructure is in place.

"Bossier has doubled the size and capacity of its water plant. Sewer plant, there's plenty of capacity there for new growth."

Over time, City Council members and the city's administrators also might have to look at the possibility of adding to police and fire manpower.

Officials say they'll rely on those departments and response times to dictate what positions may needed and when.

They mayor describes the city's approach as "controlled growth."

Bossier City's goal is to manage the boom with the resources it has while keeping up the quality of life for those who already live there.

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