Lake Charles upgrades Millennium Park and Gill Street

Downtown Development
(Source: City of Lake Charles)
(Source: City of Lake Charles)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The downtown area of Lake Charles will look significantly different in a year from now. The city revealed more information regarding two projects in the downtown area Tuesday.

One is phase two of Millennium Park, and the second is an extension of Gill Street towards the lakefront area.

The city of Lake Charles is working to enhance the downtown and lakefront area, and to further connect them.

"We want to stop thinking about downtown and lake front as two different places," said Mayor Randy Roach. "We want to recognize and realize that the lakefront is part of downtown."

The Millennium Park rebuild was part of this effort, and now phase two is beginning.

"The first phase, phase one of Millennium Park was a community build and you can see the efforts there turned out terrific," said city administrator John Cardone. "It's being used tremendously by the entire community, not just Lake Charles, but I think throughout the southwest Louisiana area, it's a great park."

Phase two includes a new entry gateway as well as security fencing around the property. Children will have more options with the addition of a fossil digging area and a splash park. For the parents there will be lots of shade and seating throughout the park. Construction has already started but may cause inconveniences soon.

"We're going to have to have at least; there'll be certain periods of time, maybe a day, maybe a couple of days, when Millennium Park, the children's playground, will actually be inaccessible," said Roach.

The second project is the extension of Gill Street. It will cross over Lakeshore Drive and continue to Bord Du Lac Drive.

"We had a strong effort in trying to have a walkable community and this will enhance that and allow people to walk from downtown up to the lakefront," said Cardone. "So we think the gill street project's an excellent project."

The goal is to connect the two places a little more, and Cardone feels these projects can do great things for the lake area.

"We think both these projects will enhance and compliment the current lakefront, the promenade, marina and so forth," he said.

Construction on the second phase of Millennium Park should be completed by fall of this year. The Gill Street extension will take a little longer and should be finished by spring of 2013.

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