On Thursday August 5, 2021 a local concerned citizen learned of the LADOTD plan to place concrete curbing on Hwy 6 preventing vehicles exiting Hwy 3278 from turning left. The LADOTD plan is to have all vehicles turn right and those wanting to come into Natchitoches must now cross two lanes of traffic, enter the new turn lane in front of Dark Woods Park and then make a J turn back to Natchitoches negotiating two more lanes of traffic.
Upon contacting LADOTD the citizen was told at each level that there was nothing that could be done. The citizen contacted Senator Louie Bernard who immediately took action and started contacting LADOTD officials to find out exactly what can be done at this time.
This morning at 7:45 am Senator Bernard met at the location with a few of the neighbors and watched as people struggled to utilize the new turn lane and J turn area. Senator Bernard then arranged a meeting at the local LADOTD headquarters at 11:00 where he and several citizens voiced their concerns. During the meeting it became apparent that our local office has their hands tied as to what they are allowed to do, so Senator Bernard reached out to Dr. Shawn Wilson, head of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and also the district office in Alexandria. According to Senator Bernard there is a very good chance that the LADOTD will pause construction for a day or two to make some time for a public hearing on the matter.
Once the public meeting is announced Natchitoches Parish citizens will have a chance to explain their issues with the changes and the state can give its side. Hopefully, a compromise that works for all parties can be reached.
A big thank you to Senator Bernard. Without his help, the project would have proceeded with no input from the citizens.
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