Parish looks at widening Palmetto Road in Benton

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

As Bossier grows, so does the amount of traffic on its roads. That is why the Bossier Parish Police Jury is currently taking proactive measures to accommodate growth on Palmetto Road.

The Jury has hired surveying consultant group, Aillet, Fenner, Jolly & McClelland Inc., to identify the right a ways needed from the old Palmetto Country club, now owned by Willis Knighton, on a future road widening project on Palmetto Road.

Parish Engineer Butch Ford says, “We got a good consultant on board. The police jury knows we’re growing. We’ve grown exponentially. You got to stay ahead of the game on the infrastructure to deal with all the new people that are coming.”

The location on Palmetto Road that is being surveyed is currently a two-lane road and is roughly 3- to 3.5-miles long.

If the project is approved by the Jury after the surveying is complete, the new Palmetto Road will be upgraded to a three-lane road, with a turning lane and new north- and south-bound lanes.

Ford can attest to the benefits of the construction.

“They did this on Bellevue Road a number of years ago. They widened Bellevue Road the same way, about the same length, and it really improved the traffic flow,” he said.

If the Police Jury decides to widen Palmetto road, there will be many acquisitions and utility relocations that will be necessary before the project can begin.

It may be as early as next year when the Jury decides whether to move forward.

“We’re just trying to get our right a way from Willis Knighton right now. If the Police Jury approves it later this year, then we will get started on all the engineering plans and right of way acquisitions, utility relocations, and then go to construction,” explained Ford.