Central plans to expand and add roads to keep up with growing population

Photo provided by staff

POSTED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 5:41pm

It's only been a couple of weeks since the new Central Thruway opened and already the city's ready for more.

You could call it the ever expanding City of Central. That’s because they're doing a study that projects the need for expansion up until 2037. This study will help future roadway projects to work with the city as its population keeps growing.

Local business owners say this future growth plan is moving the city in the right direction.

"I'm a little nervous about the growth," said Central business owner, Sandy Antoon.

Sandy Antoon has lived and worked in Central her whole life and now that small rural town she grew up in, is anything but that.

"As a person that lives on one of these roads that's been a narrow two lane country road for a time so its kind of scary,” noted Antoon.

With the Central Thruway out of the way and off the books, they have a lot more planned.

"Were trying to plan ahead for the future which is the best thing for transportation," said Chief Executive Officer at Central, David Barrow.

The planning is strategic and it looks at the big picture, which Antoon says helps her worry less and live more.

"I think if it's handled right it will be good for the community. I am excited about it actually," said Antoon.

But with widening roads and adding roadways comes more construction. Lucky Ross say that's something Central residents are used to by now.

"It’s part of growing pains I have no problem with it. We need to start somewhere, I just hope the rest doesn't take 6 years like it took the thruway here," said Lucky Ross.

So this 25-year plan for Central is geared to help guide the city in the right direction, but not too fast.

"That the part of doing proper planning for the roadways is to design them for residential or new commercial to where they are," said Barrow.

As she looks ahead at all the new, Antoon hopes some things stay the same.

"I hope it stays more mom and pop and not so big box," said Antoon.

The growth plan focuses on four roadways: Hooper, Joor, Wax and Magnolia Bridge and Greenwell Springs.

The study should be wrapped by the end of the year. Folks behind the study want your input. The meeting will be on August 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Central Library.

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