Parish appoints two members to new railroad commission, sets speed limit on Sportsman Lane

Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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VIDALIA, La.–  The Concordia Parish Police Jury this week appointed two members to a newly established railroad commission and set a 15-mile-per-hour speed limit for Sportsman Lane, a road deemed “too dangerous” not to have one.

The Police Jury was first approached about joining the new Northeast Louisiana Railroad Development District by Bryant Killen, Deputy Director of the Lake Providence Port Commission, during its December board meeting.

The police jury unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance creating the Railroad Development District in May. The goal of the district is to create a rail line joining East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes.

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The nine-member commission would consist of two members appointed by the police juries from each parish and the last member appointed jointly by all four parishes.

The Concordia Parish Police Jury voted to appoint two parish residents that Killen recommended, including Jamie Davis of Ferriday and Steve Weeks of Vidalia. Police Jury Member Joseph Parker abstained from voting because Davis attends his church, he said.

All other police jurors voted in favor of their appointment.

Killen said their plan is to follow the old Missouri Pacific rail bed into Ferriday, where a new line would begin leading to Vidalia and possibly cross the Mississippi River into Natchez. New construction in Ferriday, including the new Trinity Medical Center, prevents the line from following its original path.

The police Jury also had a public hearing regarding the speed limit on Sportsman Lane. No public comments were made. At the previous board meeting, Parker introduced the motion to advertise the public hearing concerning the speed limit. He said people “fly around dangerous curves” on the road. Roads in the parish with no posted speed limit have a speed limit of 55 miles per hour by default, Interim Secretary and Treasurer Cathy Darden said.

The police jury agreed 55 miles per hour was too fast for the road. Parker motioned Monday to create the speed limit and his motion passed unanimously.