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Livingston Parish plans for growth

POSTED: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 8:49pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 5:55pm

It's one of the fastest growing parishes in the state, and it shows in the daily gridlock that commuters experience as they make their way to and from Livingston Parish. A comprehensive master plan meeting motivated many people who live in Denham Springs to come in search of answers and solutions.

"We're no longer a little, rural parish," said lifelong Livingston Parish resident Wesley Sorenson. "We're growing faster than people realize and something needs to be done."

According to figures from the firm in charge of developing the plan, Livingston Parish has grown 30-percent in the last 20 years and is one of the two fastest growing parishes in the state. An LSU study projected that the parish population could explode from 120-thousand now, to 230-thousand by 2030.

The master plan's goals are to install the infrastructure that may be needed to maintain that growth.

"Plan isn't about micro-managing or dictating anything," said Jeff Winston, a planning consultant for the parish. "It's trying to anticipate where growth is going to happen so that we can put roads in, sewer lines, and schools appropriately."

Envision Livingston said funding for roadways has dwindled in the last several years, so new infrastructure needs to be well thought out, to maximize efficiency in spending.

"We've got to be more careful about where we need to put roads because we're not going to get as much money," said Winston. "As little as it was."

But for those in the audience, the vote was clear; less congestion on the roads is top priority number one, without a doubt.

"Four hours to get to work in Baton Rouge when there was a wreck on I-12 recently," said Sorenson. "Can't get across the Florida Bridge when it's blocked up on Florida."

For information on when and where the next meetings are, click here.

The Livingston Parish Council will ultimately have to approve any plan before implementation.

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