Police Jury, Bossier City teaming up for widening Swan Lake Road under I-220

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The Bossier Parish Police Jury donated land Wednesday to Bossier City so the widening of Swan Lake Road under I-220 can move forward.

During Wednesday’s police jury meeting, the Jury approved a donation/dedication to the City of Bossier City a portion of Swan Lake Road beginning where the state right-of-way ends north of the I-220 intersection, up to and through the intersection of Modica Lott Road, to occur when the current Bossier North/South Corridor Project (I-220 to Flat River) and Change Order No. 17 is completed.

Before the police jury approved the donation/dedication, Parish Administrator Bill Altimus addressed said that this particular project will improve traffic.

“Bossier City wants to improve the intersection underneath I-220 and Swan Lake Road and this will add a change order to our current project that will be going on at Swan Lake Road right now. This will basically be creating a project and another project with the city,” said Altimus.  

Currently when driving north and south on Swan Lake Road, only one lane runs under I-220 each for northbound and southbound drivers. The northbound outside lane of Swan Lake turns into a dedicated on-ramp for I-220 and when exiting the interstate, drivers merge onto Swan Lake Road.

“This will actually make it two lanes in each direction and increase north of I-220. Plus, the city is also going to put in street lights in that particular section up to and through the Modica Lot section up there,” Altimus added.

The catalyst for this project is the Word of God Ministries campus moving at the southeast corner of Swan Lake Road and the I-220 underpass. A traffic study for the new church recommended adding an additional lane under I-220 to ease traffic congestion.

In conjunction with the police jury’s approval, the Bossier City Council approved an ordinance on Tuesday to appropriate $900,000 to come form the 2017 Sales Tax Bond Issues to fund the Swan Lake Road Improvement Project (I-220 to Modica Lott Road), and to include street lighting and a traffic signal at Innovation Drive.

The total additional work to be done is valued at $1.95 million. The city has already put up $1.5M of that, leaving a deficit of $450,000. 

The parish volunteered $50,000 and Word of God Ministries volunteered $100,000. 

The remaining $300,000 will be filled by the city’s appropriation, and also cover additional engineering fees, the signal at Innovation Drive and street lights along Swan Lake Road. 

In late August, the police jury approved up to $500,000 in funds to work with Bossier City to install the signal at Innovation Drive and expand a dedicated turn lane onto Modica Lott Road.

The traffic signal at Innovation Drive is being suggested because parish leadership noted there is already a great deal of activity there and, once Swan Lake Road expands to five lanes, turning without a signal will be a huge frustration to drivers.

“If we don’t do it now, it will be a problem in the future. I hate putting things off now when you know you’ll need it in the future. When they complete (the expansion of Innovation Drive up to Greenacres Boulevard), there will be a ton of people using that road to get off Airline Drive,” Altimus said at the time.

Also discussed at the meeting was extending a traffic lane leading to.

This additional lane leading to Modica Lott Road will make commuting easier by reducing lane changes for drivers.

Heading north, the right lane of Swan Lake Road at Innovation Drive dead ends into Town Lake Boulevard, which means commuters trying to go north have to merge into the inside lane.

Bossier Parish Engineer Butch Ford said that lane north should be extended to connect with the road. On the southbound side, Ford is recommending a right turn lane that leads all the way to Modica Lott.