State Senator Barrow Peacock took the opportunity Wednesday to ease fears over the lack of progress on replacing the Jimmie Davis Bridge.
Peacock was one of five local legislators speaking at the South Bossier Lunch Group meeting at the Shady Grove Community Center.
“There were some spirited conversations at a previous lunch sometime ago about the bridge. You had some wonderful representation present here at that time. Would you like to add anything?” Adam Bass, audience member and Dist. 5 School Board representative, asked during the lunch.
Peacock was quick to respond with an explanation regarding funding for the project and how the importance of leveraging state and federal dollars can help Shreveport-Bossier.
“The project is a state and federal project. Although it is a state highway, it qualifies for federal funding. The idea was to leverage our state dollars for federal money to get more bang for our buck for the Shreveport-Bossier community,” said Peacock. “If you are talking about using the $100 million to do that all with state money, we would be shortchanging our community about $495 million.”
Bass is likely referring to the November lunch group meeting where Bossier City Councilman Scott Irwin criticized Peacock, saying he had taken the money dedicated to the bridge and used it for the I-49 inner city connector.
Peacock added that he has personally met with other government officials to stress how vital the bridge is to the area.
“I have met with Congressman Mike Johnson, Senator Bill Cassidy, and staff from Senator John Kennedy’s office. They know how important I-49 is and they also know how important the Jimmie Davis Bridge is,” said Peacock.
Following Peacocks comments, Bass replied, “So, if I were to come to you and say something like, ‘Show me the money…’”
Peacock was quick to answer that he could show him where the money is in Capital Outlay and where it had been documented and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“I could show you where $8 million of that has already been bonded out by the Bond Commission,” Peacock said. “That has been documented. I can show you that on a bill that has been passed and signed by the governor.”
Representative Dodie Horton (R-Haughton) addressed the audience by stating that she has personally seen Peacock fight for funds for the Jimmie Davis Bridge since the day he was first elected.
“I can tell you that since day one when Barrow Peacock was elected, he has fought for the Jimmie Davis Bridge. He has fought tirelessly for the Jimmie Davis Bridge,” Horton said. “We are committed to getting the new bridge as soon as possible.”
Joining the community luncheon was also District 5 State Representative Allen Seabaugh, District 6 State Representative Thomas Pressly, and District 36 State Senator Robert Mills.
The South Bossier Lunch group meets the second Wednesday of every month from noon to 1 p.m. at the Shady Grove Community Center in Bossier City.
Their goal is to bring together men and women in the south Bossier community that want to stay informed and make a difference in the community.