By Carolyn Roy
Comments at a public meeting Tuesday helped the La. DOTD decide what improvements to make at La. Hwy. 6 and La. Hwy. 504 according to Public Information Officer Erin Buchanan.
The project has not been funded and is in the environmental impact study stage. It could be years before such a project takes place. Buchanan said La. DOTD is assessing future growth and traffic flow for safety.
La. DOTD presented three alternates for the intersection near Interstate 49 during a public meeting at the Natchitoches Arts Center.
The first is a traffic signal at a cost of $445,000; the second is a restricted crossing U-turn at $1.3 million; and the third is a roundabout at $2.5 million.
A 2016 traffic study indicates that the 24-hour volume at that location was from 15,000-17,000 vehicles per day; La. DOTD predicts the volume in 2018 will increase by 500 vehicles per day and by 2038 the volume will increase to 20,000-22,000 per day.
The report shows the project is at feasibility Stage 0 considering safety and mobility improvements within the La. 6 corridor extending from just west of the interchange at I-49, east toward Natchitoches, approximately 2.2 miles to its intersection with La. 3278 or what is known in Natchitoches as the Old Robeline Road. Stage 0 will take one year.
Stage 1 will be planning/environment that could take one to two years; Stage 2 for funding will be an indefinite period; Stage 3 for final plans will take one to three years; Stage 4 will be bid process for one year; Stage 5 for construction one to three years; and Stage 6 for monitoring and maintenance indefinite.
Anyone wanting to submit a comment can do so by sending them to the following address, postmarked or received electronically no later than June 30.
LA 6 Feasibility Study
Attn: Nick J. Ferlito Jr., P.E., PTOE
10000 Perkins Rowe Suite G360
Baton Rouge La 70810
E-mail comments to LA6stagezero@neel-schaffer.com