Funding approved for U.S. 84 study

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The four-laning of U.S. 84 and Louisiana 6 is one step closer to being completed, local and state officials said Thursday.

Louisiana lawmakers have approved $200,000 to fund a study on the feasibility of four-laning U.S. 84 and Louisiana 6 from Louisiana 28 near Archie to the Texas state line, a distance of about 113 miles.

The money is a match of $1 million the federal government has allocated for the project.

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said officials along the highway’s route were briefed on such developments Thursday during a meeting of the Louisiana El Camino Real Commission in Jena.

The commission and similar groups throughout the South are pushing for funding to four-lane highways along the historic El Camino Real Trail, which runs from Brunswick, Ga., to El Paso, Texas.

State and local officials have said four-laning would boost economic development along the corridor. &uot;If we just four-lane it to (Louisiana) 28, it won’t do us any good – we’ve got to extend it all the way across the state,&uot;&160;McGlothin said.

So far, the only part of the four-laning project that is under construction is replacement of a bridge spanning the Black River between Wildsville and Jonesville. Construction started in February and should be finished in two years.

Next, bids for four-laning U.S. 84 from Louisiana 565 at Wildsville to Louisiana 124 at Jonesville should be awarded in the next 18 to 24 months, said District Director Bill Forrest of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Bids would then be awarded for the segment of U.S. 84 from U.S. 65 in Ferriday to Louisiana 129 south of Stacy.

But it could take eight years or more to finish four-laning from Mississippi to Texas, Forrest said.

&uot;The hard part is finding the money to do it. It would probably cost $2 million to $4 million a mile to four-lane and pave&uot; the portion from Archie to the Texas line, Forrest said.