SHREVEPORT, LA - This is one of those stories that I am so thrilled to share. Yes, there will be headaches while this construction projects gets started, but this project has been in the works for more than 12 years in Shreveport.

This project was approved in the 2011 Bond Issue. But not much was done for years.


Erin McCarty
Erin McCarty

Now we are finally seeing some activity. Orange cones and detour signs have gone up along Knight Street as the work will begin, finally. Voters in 2011 supported the Bond Proposal from the Cedric Glover administration to take care of street projects totaling more than $40 million dollars. $3.5 million was for Knight Street between Shreveport Barksdale Highway and Preston.



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Knight Street will be overlaid, sidewalks and lighting will be added. The street is currently in shambles and is being patched on a monthly basis.

Why Did It Take 13 Years to Get to This Project?

I have been told one of the reasons is that city leaders try to involve local companies first and those companies can only handle so many projects in a year. One contractor even told me it would be better for the city to bring in outside contractors after a bond issue to get all the work up and going. This would still mean jobs, but not all of the money would stay local.

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But this project also hit many other hurdles. Moving the utilities also did not get started until the past couple of years. Construction costs have skyrocketed. Initial bids came in way over budget. Mayor Tom Arceneaux had to find money to pay for the higher cost of this project.

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How Much Will Knight Street Cost?

The price tag has now more than doubled from 2011. It's expected to cost more than $7 million dollars by the time the Knight Street project is complete.

The low bid for this work was $6,540,000. That is about $2.4 million under budget, which will allow Shreveport "to pay for the street lights out of the project instead of from some other source." City leaders tell KEEL News there were 2 bidders. The low bid came from Turner and Turner.

The work is expected to take about one year.

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Who Is to Blame for this Debacle?

There plenty of blame to go around.

I am going to start with the Glover administration. Getting these projects going was slow. I do understand it takes time to sell the bonds and get things moving. But someone should have done a better job of tracking the projects. Glover left office in 2014 and not much had been done on Knight Street by that time.

I also blame the Ollie Tyler administration. Though she did give an update on the 2011 bond package, her administration projected a 2016 completion of Knight Street. It didn't happen. It never even started.

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The Adrian Perkins administration also has to take some blame for this debacle. They knew all about the Knight Street delays but still did not get things moving. In fact, some of the expropriation of the property did not happen until the 3rd year of the Perkins administration. That's not the fault of Perkins. That's the fault of city officials who just dropped the ball. And no one was following up.

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As you can see, the shuttered car wash on Knight Street is being used as a staging area for some of the supplies and the sign that I have been waiting to see for more than a decade. I only wish this sign said "Your Tax Dollars at Work, FINALLY".

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Knight Street Traffic Keeps Growing

The BHP YMCA opened in 2017 and this generated even more traffic on Knight Street. Walmart has also generated a ton of traffic. There's also lots of foot traffic from folks walking from various apartment complexes to Walmart.

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I try to be a positive guy. I do. But, if I'm being honest, it's HARD to stay positive when you're driving around Shreveport-Bossier. Truly. Between the traffic, the potholes, the can drive the most sane and level-headed person absolutely crazy! 

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