Government Street announcement could be coming _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- The state is giving the city funds for improvements on Government Street.

Speculation is swirling that an announcement about the three-laning of Government Street could be coming soon.

The Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance and Better Block Baton Rouge are advertising on their websites that Mayor-President Kip Holden will make an announcement at 10 a.m. in front of Baton Rouge High School.

Better Block Baton Rouge is an organization dedicated solely to promoting the Government Street improvements plan.

For years, planners have discussed reducing the four-lane road to two lanes and a turning lane. The road would also include sidewalks and/or bike paths to encourage more pedestrian use and make the areas more neighborhood friendly.

This month, the city-parish accepted 11 miles of state roads including portions of Government Street in order to expedite some projects that will benefit the city. In recent interviews, DPW Director David Guillory said the acquisition will speed up the Government Street project, but he has so far been unable to pinpoint a starting point for construction. He recently told the Metro Council that it might not begin until 2015.