Bossier City Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker pulled the curtain back on his view of the future of the city during the Bossier Chamber of Commerce’s State of Bossier Address Tuesday.
Walker said where he sees Bossier in the next five years is having the new Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) building complete in the National Cyber Research Park. He said he expects growth in the East Bank District, growth of missions at Barksdale Air Force Base, completion of the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway, and continued rehabilitation of the city’s wastewater system.
Speaking of the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway, Mayor Walker said the $55 million project will extend the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway north from Hwy. 511 to tie in with Benton Road at Citizens Bank Drive.
Phase I, which will extend the parkway from Traffic Street at the Texas Street Bridge to Old Benton Road at a cost of $12 million, is already under way.
Mayor Walker said it’s all part of the city’s effort to address the public’s main priority — traffic congestion.
“Every year you ask the public what biggest problem is, they’ll tell you it’s traffic. That has to do with our hourglass figure with Red River on one side and Barksdale on the other,” he explained.
Other traffic projects include the $11M expansion of Innovation Drive to run from Swan Lake Road curve around to parallel and connect with Airline Drive north of I-220.
The city will expand Viking Drive to a three-lane road at a cost of $10M beginning early 2020.
Other projects include expanding Tinsley Park baseball fields. The city will spend $14M to add five new fields with turf fields, concessions, viewing buildings, and parking lots.
Finally, Mayor Walker said growth in the city includes the new East Bank District with a new hospital coming, BeauxJax restaurant is expanding, a new hotel being built on TraffiC Street, and the recent opening of Bayou Axe Throwing Co.
That is in addition to subdivision growth in south Bossier — The Preserve and Beauclaire Subdivisions adding 360 and 60 lots, respectively — and north Bossier seeing Provident Oaks developing between Stonebridge and Tiburon. Plus, multiple commercial development with retail and small businesses opening.
“In general Bossier city is seeing an increase in new infill development construction on Barksdale Boulevard and Airline Drive,” Mayor Walker said during his presentation.