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Cross Bayou Project Faces Environmental Obstacles - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Cross Bayou Project Faces Environmental Obstacles

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

The Cross Bayou corridor project continues to be a hot topic for the city of Shreveport.

An environmental study is underway in the area.

And, recently some changes to where a new store was supposed to be located because of environmental contamination.

It's a problem that could rear it's ugly, dirty head time and time again as this project try's to take shape.

****RELATED STORY: SHREVEPORT WANTS TO DEVELOP CROSS BAYOU CORRIDOR*****

"We are so lucky to have that area as part of downtown, and as part of the city of Shreveport. Think about people and water, everybody loves water," said Liz Swaine, Executive Director of Downtown Development Authority.

"It's a really unique amenity that you don't see often, this kind of open green corridor just steps away from downtown," said Aron Chang, of Waggonner & Ball Architects.

It's easy to see why this area has been talked about for so long as a place that could enhance the city of Shreveport. Proximity to downtown, plus the natural beauty. But, it's what you don't see, what's underneath the surface that could cause potential problems in the development of this area.

For example after extended planning and zoning, retailer Family Dollar decided not to build on a piece of property near the Cross Bayou corridor because of environmental contamination.

"The biggest question mark we have is that we have a salvage yard that's near Cross Bayou and discussions are going to have to be ongoing with the owners of that salvage yard at some point to talk with them about moving," said Swaine

Shreveport got a $200,000 EPA grant last year to help identify potential environmental issues that could cause problems for future development. It's called a "Brownfields Grant."

****RELATED STORY:  PUBLIC ASKED FOR INPUT ON CROSS BAYOU PROJECT***** 

"There are a number of open vacant sites, Brownfield Sites that need to be restored and re mediated. You also do have a scrap yard.

There are very few waterways or railroads in the country that don't have similar issues and other cities have been able to make it work, so I can't see why that would be an insurmountable obstacle here," said Chang.

"It's got to be cleaned up, there's a lot of steps that have to be taken in the meantime, but if the site can be totally re mediated, and we think it can, it's just going to take a long time," said Mart Black of Providence Engineering.

City officials, citizens and engineers knocked around several ideas for the Cross Bayou corridor at a meeting in July. Shops, restaurants, apartments even a baseball field were brought up as potential tenants of the area. You can have your voice heard, and listen to ideas at another public workshop coming up in September.

 

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