North-south parkway would link Livingston, Ascension parishes

Ascension-Livingston Parkway alternatives
Ascension-Livingston Parkway alternatives

Designers presented three potential routes Tuesday night for a four-lane, north-south parkway that would run through Livingston and Ascension parishes to connect Interstates 10 and 12.

The proposal is an alternative to a shorter toll road that presidents of those parishes have discussed during the last two years.

The larger, publicly funded project would not only tie the two interstates together, but also link up with U.S. 190, Airline Highway and a number of other east-west roads in the two parishes.

Livingston Parish Councilman Ricky Goff, who represents the Walker area, said he likes the second or third alternatives, which both run to the east of traffic-snarled La. 447.

Those proposals not only would give Livingston Parish an additional north-south roadway, but also open areas of timberland as potential commercial and industrial sites, Goff said.

Additionally, they provide a better link from the industrial area east of Walker to the plants along the Mississippi River that are a major market for the products the Livingston Parish plants fabricate, Goff said.

Randy Rogers, executive director of the Livingston Economic Development Council, agreed that the eastern routes open more Livingston Parish land for industrial development to feed the growing number of plants along the Mississippi River.

Companies that service the plants on the river could have easier access to them from Livingston Parish if this project is built, he said.

“We like it,” Rogers said of the idea to build the proposed Ascension-Livingston Parish Parkway.

Councilwoman Sonya Collins, who represents the Port Vincent area, said that if the project is built, she, too, prefers the more easterly routes that open up land for industry, but she said some of her constituents aren’t happy about any of the routes.

Those people are concerned about the roadway cutting through family land that has been owned for generations, she said.

An advantage of the project is that it would provide an easier route for Livingston Parish residents who commute to work in the Ascension Parish plants, Collins said.

Project Manager Paul L. Waidhas said that would be a big improvement because now only two-lane roads run north and south through Livingston Parish, and those roads meander and aren’t designed to handle heavy traffic.

The feasibility stage of the project is just wrapping up and the project still has five other stages it would have to get through before it would become operational.

That could take 10 years, Waid has said.

A second public meeting on the parkway concept will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Lakeside Primary School, 16500 La. 431, Prairieville.