Bossier Parish agreed in mid-May to join three other local public bodies to help keep the old Jimmie Davis bridge clean once the structure becomes a linear park with the construction of a new bridge over the Red River.
Police Jury members voted unanimously to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Caddo Parish Commission, City of Shreveport and City of Bossier City to provide the necessary cleaning maintenance services.
Included in the MOU are the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development and the Louisiana Dept. of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has told the local entities the state is willing to accept the old bridge into
Louisiana’s park system.
Parish Administrator Butch Ford told jurors the MOU would mean all entities agree to help pick up trash and to keep the linear park clean. Once the bridge is declared a linear park, pedestrians and bicycles would be allowed access.
“With this agreement, all of us would be responsible to provide adequate trash receptacles and liners, to replace these on a weekly basis, the sweeping of debris and any other maintenance required to keep it clean,” Ford said. He also said each local governing body
would take on the duties over three-month periods.
“The whole gist of this is we get a new four-lane Jimmy Davis bridge if they (the state) make this a linear park,” Ford explained.
Jury President Tom Salzer said the idea of presenting an MOU rather than forming an Economic Development Commission with the partners boiled down to money and responsibility.
“An EDC would require all entities to put up money and incur administrative costs,” he said. “This (MOU) shows them we’re willing to take on some responsibility but not take on financial or liability issues.”