Thursday, June 20, 2024

Top Stories: Infrastructure

by BIZ Magazine

Healthcare Corridor to get $27M upgrade

Shreveport’s Healthcare Corridor will get a major upgrade thanks to a $22M grant. The investment will go towards major improvements to public transit and infrastructure thanks to the USDOT RAISE Grant.

The announcement was made during a joint press conference in August with leaders from SporTran, The City of Shreveport, Biomedical Research Foundation, LSU Health, Ochsner LSU Health Academic Center, and the Louisiana DOTD.

Shreveport was one of a handful of communities in Louisiana to be awarded the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant.

The Shreveport Healthcare and Development Corridor Improvements Project will receive over $27 million in public investment, including the $22,164,000 RAISE Grant and a 20% local match of $5,541,000 out of the City of Shreveport General Fund.

The project is a shared vision of public and private partners that together are the largest driver of the Northwest Louisiana economy.

Situated in Shreveport at the nexus of I-49 and I-20, the 1.6-mile corridor is home to the LSU School of Allied Health Professions, Ochsner LSU Health, Willis-Knighton, Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF) Shreveport, and Shriners Hospital for Children.

These partners will invest more than $300 million in the corridor over the next five years, and the City of Shreveport will prioritize upgrades to the transportation network to support planned growth.

Through a collaborative process, the stakeholders have identified the urgent needs of the corridor and the transformative impact the RAISE Grant will have on the region.

According to a 2014 study by Tripp Umbach, there are roughly 30,000 direct and indirect employees working in the Shreveport Healthcare and Development Corridor, with an estimated economic impact of $4.9 billion per year. Investment in this corridor will bring new services, innovation, and employment opportunities, but the roadway and transit infrastructure improvements are key. The proposed project incorporates the following elements:

• Reconstructed roadways, transit bus pull-outs and streetscaping

• Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) using battery-electric bus technology

• Enhanced Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access

• Traffic signal improvements and emergency vehicle preemption (EVP)       technology

• Improved pedestrian facilities including signals, a pedestrian bridge, and sidewalks

• Protected bike lanes, traditional bike lanes, and sharrows

• Improved street lighting

Bossier City Council supports rail service through city

The Bossier City Council has issued its support for Amtrak passenger rail service along the Interstate 20 corridor through Bossier City.

The council unanimously supported a resolution at its March 15, 2022, regular meeting.

Jack “Bump” Skaggs, president and CEO of the Coordinating and Development Corporation, addressed the Bossier City Council during the meeting. He noted the CDC is working with the I-20 Corridor Council, the Southern Rail Commission and Transpiration for America.

He noted that this project, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, saw movement thanks to a recent railroad merger.

“For many years, you have heard that Amtrak would be coming through this area. However, it was never really a viable option with Kansas City Southern owning the rail. So, with the merger of KCS and Canadian Pacific, Canadian Pacific is now a willing partner,” Skaggs said.

He noted the group’s belief that Amtrak rail service would be a positive impact on the local economy and community. However, he noted they have yet to iron out the details.

“We’re not ready to work through where the stops are going to go,” he said.

CDC is a private, nonprofit, member-supported corporation that serves the economic, community, workforce, transportation and business development needs of 10 parishes in Northwest Louisiana.

Shreveport Regional Airport sees 57% increase last year

Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV) saw 504,321 passengers in 2021, a 57% increase in travelers compared to 2020 passenger numbers.

The increase in passengers was thanks in part to a new non-stop flight to Los Angeles, which was the first time in the airport’s 69-year

history to have West Coast service. The 57% increase equates to 184,101 more passengers in 2021 than in 2020.

“We are so thankful for the Ark-La-Tex residents that chose to fly from Shreveport last year,” said Mark Crawford, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the Shreveport Airport Authority. “As more and more people choose to support Shreveport Regional Airport, airlines will continue to add back flights and bring in larger planes. We are always working with our airline partners to add new destinations, so the more people that fly from Shreveport, the more likely that is to happen.”

In October 2021, United Airlines re-launched their daily non-stop flight to Denver, which has proven to be very popular again, with many days being sold out. United also offers three daily departures to Houston, with fares starting at $112 one way.

Allegiant resumed their non-stop flights to Los Angeles on May 27 while non-stop flights to Destin and Orlando resumed in June on Allegiant. Allegiant’s non-stop flight to Las Vegas operates year-round. American Airlines continues to operate two daily departures to Charlotte and six daily departures to Dallas/Fort Worth. Delta Air Lines is currently operating four daily flights to Atlanta.

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