The Louisiana Dept of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) held the last of a series of local meetings that began in 2017 Tuesday, December 10 at the Natchitoches Events Center. The meeting was a public hearing at which the department presented proposed alternatives to replacing the Church Street Bridge, originally built in 1936. Alternative 1, the preferred alternative, features a skewed alignment so that the bridge ties directly into St. Clair Ave as opposed to the present offset intersection. This alternative also features a temporary bridge that would go from Williams Ave to Touline St., which would then become a one way street. Alternative 3 would be the same, but with no temporary bridge being built, necessitating traffic detours during the construction project. Should alternative 1 be chosen, the temporary bridge would be removed upon the project’s completion.
A group of over 30 citizens and elected officials studied the proposals and had an opportunity to speak with DOTD engineers, project managers and contractors. The bridge project is currently undergoing a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review as required by federal law. This review looks at every aspect of the projects impact and allows for public input into the decision making. Persons with comments or concerns about the proposed replacement for the Church Street Bridge may mail them to Louisiana Department of Transportation, Environmental Engineer Administrator, Section 28, P.O. Box 94245, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245.