Study: Juban Road extension would impact only 1 home and 1 business _lowres


For an $8.5 million investment, the extension of Juban Road north from Florida Boulevard to the intersection of Lockhart and Burgess roads could alleviate traffic between Denham Springs and Walker and spur more economic development, according to a study completed this week.

The new 1.6-mile road would directly affect only one business and one home, according to the design study prepared by engineering firm Forte and Tablada.

The Parish Council will discuss the project Thursday night.

The four-lane extension would provide another access route to the interstate for residents north of Walker and Denham Springs, reducing traffic on Eden Church Road to the west and Burgess Avenue to the east, according to the report.

The proposed route would avoid the Juban Courts Condominiums, just north of Florida Boulevard, by clipping the driveways and parking lots of the adjacent medical offices, businesses and mosquito abatement building. From there, the road would continue across mostly undeveloped land, including the southeast corner of North Park, before running directly over the home of Darnell St. Romain, whose property fronts the intersection of Lockhart and Burgess.

St. Romain, whose neighboring sewer treatment business also would be affected by the new roadway, could not be reached for comment on the proposal Wednesday.

The extension would include a crossing with signals and gates at the Canadian National Railway line, rather than an overpass as some officials had previously suggested. The crossing would cost about $344,000, the study says.

The $6 million construction estimate includes a concrete curb and gutter design with accompanying drainage work. Utility relocation, rights of way, environmental studies and engineering costs bring the total to $8.5 million.

The Forte and Tablada report released Monday is only the first phase of this yearslong project. Phase two will include a host of other studies including a traffic analysis, environmental site assessment, wetland delineation and geotechnical report.

Parish President Layton Ricks said the project also must secure funding through a regional planning process designed to prioritize state and federal roadwork dollars.

Juban Road extension is included in Stage 2 of the Capital Region Planning Commission’s long-range transportation plan, which is slated for years 2018 to 2027.

Widening Juban Road from Wax Road to Florida Boulevard is among a group of related projects scheduled for the same time frame. Others include widening Florida Boulevard from Pete’s Highway to Burgess Avenue, widening Magnolia Beach Road from the Amite River to North Range at Lockhart, and extending Hooper Road to provide another connection into East Baton Rouge Parish.

Follow Heidi R. Kinchen on Twitter, @HeidiRKinchen, or call her at (225) 336-6981.