SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Bossier City is now one step closer to paying the balance of the long-awaited $55 million northern parkway extension.
The first $37 million of the project is already in place and final preps are now well underway to begin Phase 1 of construction next spring.
That's the word from Bossier City's Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso.
She took some time to update us on the latest developments of the project, first by standing beside a wall-sized image of the parkway extension.
That's where she pointed to the highly-congested Benton Road area in north Bossier City.
Glorioso told us anywhere from 45 to 50 thousand vehicles use that road every single work day.
"It is bumper-to-bumper probably from 4:30 til 5:30 each day."
Glorioso then showed us the path for the solution to that traffic congestion, not to mention train delays: The northern extension, officially named the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway.
When completed, the extension will create a roughly 3 mile long loop from Benton Road all the way to East Texas and Traffic Streets, near the Texas Street Bridge.
The first hints of this project can already be seen if you take a close look. That includes crews moving utility lines.
Glorioso told us those utility crews have until March before construction gets underway.
She said Phase 1 will take 18-months to complete and cover the portion of the parkway extension from Traffic Street at the Texas Street Bridge to Old Benton Road.
The Bossier City City Council is expected to approve the final $18-to-20 million for Phase 2 of the project next Tuesday, as part of a $60 million bond proposal.
The council must have a second reading of the proposed ordinance to move forward.
As for drivers, when they discover the entire extension project will take four years to complete, many say they can wait until 2022, including Charlene Fess.
"I will. What else do you do? But anyway there are a lot of people here and that's a good thing."
And fellow driver Hunter Harris added, "There's traffic everywhere you go, man. I went to school down in Lafayette. I deal with it every day. So, it ain't nothing new to me."
With Bossier City now surpassing 70,000 residents, some chalk up the traffic congestion, train delays, and soon even more road construction as just part of the growing pains for a city on the rise.
If the Bossier City Council approves that $60 million bond it will also help pay for everything from improvements to city ditches and streets, to an addition at Bossier City’s Animal Control facility.