LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Road crews are expected to start work next month extending Enterprise Boulevard in north Lake Charles to Highway 171.
The joining of the two major roadways was approved by voters in a 2006 bond election.
This week, environmental crews will begin removing old underground gasoline tanks at an abandoned gas station on North Enterprise. The property was donated to the City by the owner. Environmental officials want to make sure the soil is safe before construction crews converge on the area in October.
"With these old sites you don't exactly know if all the tanks are here or not. Over time, people have just cemented over it and you'll find tanks as you dig," said project specialist Ron Fossett.
The environmental testing will be complete in a couple of weeks.
Once construction is complete on the Enterprise extension, city officials hope it will spur economic development in the area, particularly along the riverfront.
Officials already have designs of what they envision the riverfront to look like; a boardwalk district complete with retail outlets, restaurants and condos.
According to Lake Charles City Councilman Marshall Simien, residents in his district have expressed support for both the extension and boardwalk development.
"They've had to deal with scrap metal yards and people bringing trash into the neighborhood for years, so they're looking forward to something different happening," said Simien.
Once construction starts on the Enterprise extension project, it is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.