SCOTT — The city is moving north.
Work is expected to begin next month on a $1.2 million project to extend city water and sewer lines under Interstate 10 to serve undeveloped tracts north of the interstate, said Pat Logan, who oversees planning for Scott.
Hotels, restaurants and retail stores have been crowding in along the south side of I-10 near the Scott exit, but the lack of frontage roads and water lines have kept growth in check on the other side of the highway.
“That was a big impediment to developing there,” Logan said.
He said one of the main reasons for extending the water lines is the 44-acre Destination Pointe commercial development that is planned for the northwest corner of the I-10 interchange at Scott.
The development was first proposed more than five years ago, but the combined effects of the national economic recession and a lack of infrastructure had slowed plans for the project.
“They’ve really been waiting to see the commitment from the city,” Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison said.
Larry Dietz, a Baton Rouge-based broker who is recruiting businesses for Destination Pointe, said interest is picking up.
“I’m in pretty detailed discussions with large big-box users, which will be the anchor for the development,” he said.
Dietz said confidentially agreements prevent him from disclosing the names of the interested companies.
“We anticipate we will have ground-breaking about this time next year,” he said.
Morrison said that in addition to the new water and sewer lines, the city has secured about $1 million in state money to help pay for a $1.5 million frontage road on the north side of I-10, skirting the Destination Pointe development and paving the way for other developments.
“It gives us the opportunity to grow that side of I-10,” Morrison said.
No date has been set for the start of the road project, but engineering work has begun, Logan said.
Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation Director Jan Swift said the area north of I-10 in Scott seems primed for development, considering how quickly frontage roads have filled in south of I-10.
“I just think it’s going to be explosive growth,” she said. “The town is ready for it.”
The plans for water lines and frontage roads north of the Scott I-10 exit are moving forward as work is wrapping up on a $2.3 million roundabout on La. 93 just south of I-10 in Scott.
The state Department of Transportation and Development project aims to ease traffic congestion that has grown worse as more businesses locate in and around the I-10 exit.
More than 11,000 vehicles a day pass through the area, according to figures from DOTD.
Logan said the roundabout is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
Scott is also preparing to begin work on a 2-mile extension of Apollo Road from Cameron Street to the intersection of Dulles Drive and Rue de Belier, a project that will open up vacant land for development in the southwestern corner of Scott and ease traffic congestion.
Swift said that leaders in Scott have consistently shown a knack in recent years for projects that spur commercial growth.
“I think a lot of people in Lafayette don’t realize it, but they take a trip and say, ‘Wow, it’s booming,’ ” she said.