Editor’s note: Kathy Rome, a library technician with the Baton Rouge Room Archives of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, passes along more information about the cemetery on Old Hammond Highway.

We wrote about that cemetery in the May 9 Ask The Advocate, when a reader had asked who is responsible for the site’s upkeep. Lucy L. McCann, director of the Louisiana Cemetery Board, had told us the cemetery is not licensed with her agency, so the maintenance falls to the landowners and the plot owners’ descendants.

Spurred by the column, Rome found a mention of the cemetery in the Feb. 27, 2014, Smiley Anders column in which reader Helen Rankin mentioned that the name of the resting site is Little Misery Cemetery, an old African-American cemetery. “The first record of a burial there is in 1933, with the latest in 2008,” she said.

Taking the long way round

With all the discussion about various ways to relieve the traffic on the bridge in Baton Rouge, why isn’t there any serious discussion about a Baton Rouge bypass that could go from Ramah or Grosse Tete to the bridge at Gramercy with a cut off to the Sunshine bridge?

Rodney Mallett, a state Department of Transportation and Development spokesman, says that “while a new road from the Ramah area to the Gramercy Bridge may be beneficial to some travelers, it would be expensive to build and require costly permits to build through many acres of wetlands.

A Ramah-to-Gramercy bypass would not relieve the local Baton Rouge traffic or the pass-through traffic, such as heavy trucks, utilizing Interstate 12, Mallet said.

“This suggestion is similar to what has been called the West Side Expressway. While the expressway is in the long-range Statewide Transportation Plan, the first step to address congestion in the Capital area will be widening Interstate 10 from La. 415 to the I-10/I-12 split (this project will be moving into the environmental phase by winter 2016).

“The West Side Expressway would be a new Interstate-type roadway parallel to LA 1 from I-10, not as far west as Ramah, to I-310. The concept includes a new bridge between the I-10 Bridge and the Sunshine Bridge. The estimated cost is approximately $1.7 billion ($845 million for the connector segment, $690 million for a new bridge, and $121 million for improvements to LA. 3127).

“This project is a Priority D project in the statewide transportation plan.”

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