The Bossier Parish Police Jury Wednesday approved funds for additional work on Swan Lake Road, including a traffic signal and an extended turn lane.
At their regular meeting, police jurors unanimously approved up to $500,000 in funds to work with Bossier City to install a traffic signal at Innovation Drive and to 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,” said Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus.
Also discussed at the meeting was extending a traffic lane leading to Modica Lott Road.
This additional lane 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.
“What I am recommending is we’re going to have to build a little bit of a lane right there (to Modica Lott Road),” said Ford.
On the southbound side, Ford is recommending a right turn lane that leads all the way to Modica Lott.
The catalyst for this decision is the new 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.
“Bossier City did everything from I-220 south to I-20 and we worked north. No one thought about the interchange that the state owns. The city stepped up to put $1.5 million to expand the roadway under the interstate up to Innovation Drive,” Ford said.
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.
“It’s one lane now (under I-220) going north and south. With the additional lane, it will allow traffic to flow a little bit easier,” Ford explained.
Ford said the parish is getting involved in some proactive measures in the city’s portion of Swan Lake Road, like the signal at Innovation Drive, because of the city helping them with construction of Wemple Road.
“When it looked like (a new) Walmart was coming (to north Bossier), Wemple Road needed to be expanded to Cross Creek at the Lakewood subdivision. That was a $1.6M project, and the city said they would build it because Walmart was coming (on annexed city property) and turns out they didn’t come. But they went ahead with it and then they said they need help at Swan Lake Road and Innovation Drive,” said Ford. “We feel obligated that since they helped us out, we need to help them out with this.”
Ford, Altimus, and Police Juror Jack Skaggs will be meeting with Mayor Lo Walker Friday to finalize the measures at Swan Lake and Innovation Drive.