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ArkLaTex In-Depth: Haughton growth - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

ArkLaTex In-Depth: Haughton growth

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HAUGHTON, La. -

The growing pains continue in Bossier Parish and these days, they're really being felt in Haughton. State Rep. Henry Burns is seeing the town he lives in begin to burst at the seams.

"After the 2010 census, I lost about 45 percent of my acreage because there has been a lot of building and people living along the Highway 80 I-20 corridor from Bossier City to the Webster Line" says Burns.

According to that census, 10,000 new residents - a 32 percent boost - had moved into Haughton over a decade. By 2014, another 11 percent increase is forecast and that only means more traffic for an already busy area.

That traffic causes a bottle neck on Highway 80 in front of one of Haughton's biggest neighborhoods, Country Place.

"In the morning time right now you go out there, there's two lanes, one's going left and one's going right leaving our subdivision. If the proposal that was given would have worked then you would have only one lane and that's everybody turning right" says David Newell, President HMA of Country Place.

Newell said they went looking for a solution and that's where the Department of Transportation and Development stepped in.

DOTD spokesperson, Susan Stafford says "our traffic section actually went ahead and did a study through the corridor to take a look at capacity and incident rates along there to some determinations on what we could do to improve that area."

They proposed to take out some of these crossovers, turning lanes and make what's called J-Turns. Stafford says the J-Turns force motorist to double-back and turn safely and not cross directly over four lanes of traffic.

DOTD's proposal was going to move the crossover in front of Country Place and install a J-Turn a few yards west of the entrance but residents balked.

According to Newell, "the board voted that they didn't want the entrance closed that they would like to have an access into here off the main road; a turning lane and they would also like to have a no U-Turn at the entrance."

DOTD decided to scrap the proposal after a public meeting that opposed the J-Turns but that's not the only problem Highway 80 is having.

"There's a stretch of road of about 1500 feet starting at what we call the Red Point Road 614 that has an issue with drainage, the water being able to flow and also the surface is a little bit on the slick side" says Rep. Burns.

According to DOTD, there's been 15 wrecks at the intersection and that's cause for concern for residents. Burns says DOTD is working on a solution.

"Maybe scratch the surface to give it a more resistance for the tires and if those things fail, they will probably just totally redo 1500 section of that road to bring safety to our citizens" says Burns.

That will make this intersection safe.

Burns says that's "the joy of growth and also the complications of growth."

Stafford with DOTD says the proposed J-Turns have been successful in other areas of the state. They would have been the first in northwest Louisiana. Representative Burns says if the growth continues, they may have to revisit the J-Turn proposal.

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