Business owners say Walter O. Bigby Carriageway construction issues worth it in the long run

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Construction on the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway in Bossier City. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Local business owners say the slowed activity in their business due to construction of a new major roadway in Bossier City will be worth it in the long run.

Mike and Dusty Williams, owners of the Flamingo Apartments on Old Benton Road and three other affordable housing complexes on East Texas Street, say that their business has slowed down since construction has begun on the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway project, but it is all for the betterment of the community.

“It has taken a cut out of our business, but any place they do construction in town somebody is going to have some inconveniences. The city has been good to us, the contractors have been great to us.  We just have to wait for a few more months until it gets done,” said Mike Williams. 

He also states that once construction is completed, his business and other nearby businesses will be in a major thoroughfare and business will more than make up for the slow times now.

“We know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It will get better. Sometimes new things take a little while,” Mike said. “You just have to be patient until they get there.”

Bossier City Council President and District 1 Representative Scott Irwin says with any construction project, issues will occur for those nearest to it. 

“With any construction project through an old part of town, there are endless issues, and that location is certainly no exception. But in the end, I believe this will help all of Bossier,” said Irwin.

For example, Irwin said that as a resident of south Bossier, the Walter O. Bigby Carriageway project will be very beneficial to that portion of the community.

“We live down in south Bossier but we have friends and family who live in north Bossier. And, for the longest time in order to travel to north Bossier you had to take Benton Road or Airline Drive. The Walter O. Bigby Carriageway will give people from south Bossier another route to north Bossier,” said Irwin.“Traffic is the number one issue in Bossier City. This project, once completed, will alleviate traffic congestion.”

The carriageway will run north from Arthur Ray Teague Parkway. Once the project is complete, the roadway system will allow commuters to travel from south Bossier to just south of I-220 in north Bossier, all without being stopped by a train. 

Phase One is expected to be completed by the summer.

Drivers are expected to see a wider road from Traffic Street to Old Benton Road, new lighting, and wider sidewalks.