Why Have These Shreveport Projects Taken Forever to Complete?
This might get you a little hot and bothered today. We started talking about this list five years ago. Yes, it's been five years. Of the many long-discussed projects in our community, I wondered which would happen first. And I can tell you now, that none of them are complete. And there has been significant movement on only one of them.
I do have a few other projects that I am going to add to my list.
But we are still wondering: Which Projects Will Happen First in Shreveport?
Confederate Monument Moved from in Front of Caddo Courthouse
The Caddo Commission voted 7-5 to move the Confederate Monument from the grounds of the Courthouse, but the legal fight has been raging between Caddo Parish and the Daughters of the Confederacy. The Caddo Commission now has a deal to spend more than $700,000 to move the monument. The work is expected to begin this month. It is being moved to a private historical site in Mansfield. This is the one item on the list that I think might get done this year.
I-49 Inner City Connector
The NLCOG Board voted to build the I-49 extension through the Allendale Neighborhood. The state has set aside $100 million for this 3.6 mile stretch which would connect the interstate to the section that is now complete north of town. The Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, the Committee of 100 and the North Louisiana Economic Partnership supports this path. The big question is how long will it take? Will the state still move forward on this stretch of highway. Will the Mayor support and push this effort. We are still waiting.
Cross Bayou Park Built on Riverfront
In 1996, Shreveport voters passed a $5 million dollar bond issue for Cross Bayou development. But what were we promised and what has been delivered since that election. Here's the verbiage that was on the ballot: "Authority to issue not exceeding $5 million in General Obligation Bonds for acquiring and/or improving lands for a public park." We have no public park at Cross Bayou and that's been more than 25 years.
Elio Cars Will Be Built at the Old GM Plant
Caddo Parish bought the plant from General Motors when the auto giant shut down operations. Elio Motors pledged to begin building a 3-wheeled car at the plant, but it's never happened. Most believe it will never happen. The clock has run out on Elio which promised to create 1,500 jobs in Caddo Parish or higher lease payments on the property.
Fairgrounds Field Will Be Torn Down
The Shreveport City Council has ok'd a resolution declaring the old baseball stadium surplus, paving the way for the ball park to be demolished. But it does have a bat infestation and the bats have to be relocated before the work can begin. Bat mating season also lasts through mid-August and they can not be disturbed during mating season.
Knight Street Improvements
In 2011, 3 bond proposals passed totaling $175 million dollars. Much of that work is complete but there are some projects yet to be done. One of them is Knight Street which was to be overlaid, sidewalks installed along with lighting. The only work done that I can see is some utility work. It's been 11 years! Residents in the area want to know why it's taking so long.