Brown: Widen Airline Hwy. from 4 to 6 Lanes

Baton Rouge architect Coleman Brown says the most important single thing the city could do to improve transportation is widen Airline Highway from the old Mississippi River Bridge to Florida Boulevard.
Brown leads a Mid-City organization devoted to improving Baton Rouge’s transportation, infrastructure, and quality of life at reasonable costs.
Brown says building another Mississippi River bridge for $1 billion or more is a pipe dream for which funds will not be available in the foreseeable future.  In addition, he says improvements to existing infrastructure will do just as much or more to solve transportation needs.
Brown pointed out the deterioration of Airline Highway, which is long overdue for repairs. A Baton Rouge police officer was injured by a road hazard last week. Potholes and other problems from the old bridge to Florida will cost $7 million to repair, according to DOTD. But Brown opposes DOTD’s plan to repair Airline, which would take an F road and make no contribution to improved traffic flow.  Instead, he says Airline can be widened to six lanes for $24 million — only $17 million more than the cost of repair. Brown says that will make Airline a B road. Similarly, widening Airline south of Cedarcrest to Highland would cost $30 million.
Brown says these improvements would greatly improve traffic flow both east-west and north-south.
The widening projects will benefit both North and South Baton Rouge, he said.
Brown can be reached at

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