The metro-Baton Rouge region has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, creating tremendous traffic congestion on interstates and major arteries. When the City of Baton Rouge began the initial phases of designing and building a traffic loop to remedy these issues in 2007, ABMB was selected to take part in the creation of an Implementation Plan that would guide development of the proposed BR Loop to better serve the metro-area.
In a joint venture partnership with HNTB, ABMB’s role involved working closely with LADOTD, FHWA, the City of Baton Rouge, the Coast Guard, and the Corps of Engineers to coordinate the best possible way to develop this project. Public outreach was crucial in planning the project. ABMB participated in two series of public meetings conducted in each of the five parishes to garner feedback and suggestions from local communities. Parish presidents helped facilitate these meetings and key input was gathered from regional and local business and technical groups. Ultimately, a formalized implementation plan which documented the project’s findings and resulting strategies for execution was presented to the five parish presidents.
Numerous potential corridors were investigated and several were identified to be advanced into the Tier 1 EIS. During the Tier I EIS, the selected corridors were evaluated based on traffic congestion benefits, cost, environmental factors, agency and public input, and other factors. Land use planning was also a key component of this phase.
The team is awaiting a Record of Decision to be issued identifying one selected corridor for the entire toll loop project. The subsequent phase of the project, Tier 2, is expected to be initiated to identify a specific alignment, detailed design features, impacts, and mitigation measures for the project segments.