The other south Bossier park

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Movement on park near CenturyLink Center to start in June

Plans for a 15-acre park in south Bossier City are under development by architects, with construction expected to start in June.

Bossier City public information officer Mark Natale said the park, north of the CenturyLink Center, would go out for construction bids this Spring once designs are complete. An elevated pedestrian and bicycle walkway is also being designed that would link the park to the west side of Arthur Teague Parkway and the Red River.

Both the park and the elevated walkway are part of a lawsuit settlement between the U.L.Coleman Company and Bossier City. When City Council denied a request from the real estate developer to grant access from the parkway to a planned apartment complex, the company filed the lawsuit against the city in 2008. In December 2012 the parties reached a settlement agreement.

The portion of the settlement agreement related to the park calls for the company to pay for the design of the park, with the city paying approximately $1 million for the construction of the park and also the construction cost of the elevated walkway.

“The agreement was we have 18 months to start construction on the park and walkway,” Natale said. “Next June, time is up.”

Although the design is a work in progress, Natale said the 15-acre park will be vastly different from a new sports complex in south Bossier.

“This is not going to be a sports complex,” Natale said. “It is going to be a nice place people can go and relax and take in the sights of the river front.”

The elevated walkway is a convenience and safety feature so walkers and cyclists can safely cross the Arthur Teague Parkway without being exposed to vehicular traffic.

The 15-acre park is bounded on the south by the north parking lot of the Cent Center, the parkway on the west, Walker Place on the north and Cent Center Drive on the east.

To meet the construction startup deadline, the design phase for both the park and the walkway must be completed within the next few months.

“We will bid out to a private company on both projects,” Natale said.

In denying access to Coleman’s development, Bossier City had sought to preserve the parkway as a limited access north-south traffic corridor alternative to Barksdale Boulevard and its heavy traffic, frequent curb cuts and traffic signals.

The lengthy dispute delayed Coleman’s development. The December 2012 lawsuit settlement,in addition to the park and elevated walkway,stipulated the city would transfer 39.4 acres to be included in the development,pay $10.4 million for infrastructure related to the development, and pay $6.7 million in damages and costs.

As part of the settlement, U.L.Coleman Company agreed to fund $100,000 to implement regulations to provide standards for future residential and commercial development in the Barksdale Boulevard corridor.