BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A lengthy construction project is underway, and traffic has been shifted to one lane on I-20. The major rehabilitation project hopes to revitalize the pavement, from Hamilton Road to Industrial Drive, that has not been touched since the 1960s.
The Downtown Development Authority, Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce, and Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce hosted an I-20 business meeting to inform the community about what the next two years will bring.
“It’s not something we want to have a detrimental effect. We want it to have a positive effect on business. And in the end, we’ll have you know basically a new interstate to travel on, but it’s going to take some adjustment by everybody to get to that point,” said public information officer for the DOTD, Erin Buchanan.
Buchanan says that business leaders should use the new traffic as an opportunity, but people still have concerns.
“I’m just trying to see what kind of traffic we’re going to get to see if it’s going to enhance the business we have or block traffic from coming through. Seeing if it’s going to enhance the numbers or decrease the numbers is my main concern,” said Teri Pugh with Setting the Standard Barbering Academy.
With the traffic patterns unknown, the Shreveport/Bossier African American Chamber wants to do its part in supporting its partners.
“We still want to make sure our businesses are having customers, and their customers know, that hey you might not get to us the normal route, but here’s the alternative route,” said Brittney Dunn, board chair of the chamber.
There are two mobile apps that are available to help drivers. Waze will provide alternative routes and the Louisiana 511 app to track traffic in real-time.
Another concern is whether the $117 million project will give money to local businesses and subcontractors. The contractor is JB James Construction, LLC.
“I know a lot of times when contractors do come in, prime contractors, then they bring in their own subs that they worked with before. Or a lot of people come from down south, so I just want to make sure that the business owners that are right here in our backyard are receiving some of those dollars,” said Dunn.
Up-to-date information on the project is available on the Louisiana DOTD website.