A public open house event was held Thursday evening, May 19, 2022 in the Southdowns Elementary School Gymnasium located at 2050 Hood Avenue in Baton Rouge. The purpose of the event was to initiate a dialog with area residents and businesses about potential amenities which could be provided by DOTD within the I-10 right of way following construction activity on the interstate. Louisiana DOTD has adopted the Community Connections initiative of the Federal Highway Administration’s Every Day Counts innovation program. As part of Community Connections, DOTD seeks to implement Context Sensitive Solutions which are design treatments or amenities that aid in mitigating impacts of the highway infrastructure upon adjacent communities. Exhibit boards provided examples of 16 potential amenities. Participants were asked to pick up stickers corresponding to the amenities they liked, and to affix them to a map of the project area. In this way DOTD will be able to determine which amenities are preferred, and where the public believes they should be positioned.
The in-person exercise was replicated with an online map-based survey which is live for three weeks, concluding Monday, June 13, 2022. Project designers will review the results of these surveys, and those written comments provided via comment cards, emails or letters. Collectively, this input will guide designers as they craft schematic plans for the I-10 right of way in the Perkins Road to Acadian Thruway area. At a future date, tentatively summer 2022, these draft plans will be presented to the public at a second open house event for critique and refinement.