SHREVEPORT, La. - A new traffic light could help with traffic congestion. In a growing part of Shreveport.
Shreveport and Caddo parish officials are proposing a red light at the intersection of Wallace Lake Road and Southern Loop.
With more businesses and homes being built, officials say putting a red light here will reduce some of the traffic congestion.
It's a city-parish project that will cost about $225,000. The parish has already approved and put up half of that. They're just waiting for the city to do the same. It's a joint project because the city owns Southern Loop and the parish takes care Wallace Lake Road.
Councilman Grayson Boucher is over this district. He says because of the boom in residential and commercial growth, having this light here will be critical.
"The thing that people need to understand is that is the fastest growing part of Shreveport," said Boucher. "We have 500 new homes going in on Wallace Lake Road just to the north of this location that are in the city limits. So the traffic count is just going to be outrageous whenever that new development comes in."
We also talked to Caddo Commissioner John Atkins. He says they've been talking about improving that intersection for years. They talked about putting a roundabout there, but the cost of that was in the millions.
Adding a red light was a suggestion in 2017, but the intersection didn't meet the traffic count requirements.
"Previously, we didn't have sufficient traffic count to merit a stop light, so a traffic circle was being considered, but a traffic circle is considerably more expensive than a stop light," Atkins said. "So given the capital constraints, with the city in particular we're leaning more towards a traffic light at this time."
This intersection has been the site of numerous crashes over the years. Some were even deadly.
Back in 2009, an 18-year old woman died when a tractor-trailer ran a stop sign and hit her SUV. Shortly after, friends of the victim started a petition to make changes there. Unfortunately, plans of a roundabout and a stop light some years later fell through.
Councilman Boucher, who is also a former fire chief, says getting a stop light here is personal for him because he remembers that accident.
"It's kind of near and dear to my heart," Boucher said. "We have been trying, I think councilman Corbin, he had tried and just was unable to get enough for the traffic count. But myself and commissioner John Atkins have worked very well together and the parish and the city are doing exactly what we need to be doing in Caddo Parish and Shreveport and that's working together."
This is the fastest growing area in Shreveport. Hundreds of new homes are in the works within a small radius of this intersection. Retail space just down the road is adding new tenants. Land at this corner is for sale and some say future development is not far away.
The city council should vote to fund its part of the funding at its next meeting.
Officials are hopeful the light will go in this Fall, but if not, then early next year.