Pinnacle, Tourist Bureau to help pay for Cove Lane project

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles moves another step forward to funding the local portion of the Cove Lane to Nelson Road Interchange Interstate highway project.

Ultimately, the project will provide access to the new Ameristar Casino and L'auberge while also relieving congestion in the area.

According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation, the project will cost $80 million. DOTD has agreed to pay $40 million. Ameristar has agreed to pay $20 million, leaving the local portion at $20 million.

The original idea was for the City of Lake Charles, the Port of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and Calcasieu Parish School Board to take the shared portion of the $4 million in new gaming revenue from Ameristar over the next five years to pay for the project.

However, the School Board voted to not participate last week, leaving the project without enough funding.

Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said Pinnacle and the Southwest Louisiana and Convention and Visitors Bureau have stepped up to pay the remaining difference.

"We are just showing you how we are answering the question, how do we get to $4 million? We are going to put up our share, but how do you get to $4 million? With the exception of the School Board, we have $3.33 million per year. To make up the difference - hopefully, the Convention and Visitors Bureau - and as I indicated, Pinnacle has already committed to help fund the remainder at $420,000 a year or $2.1 million over that five year period," said Roach.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau will decide on whether to participate at their board meeting on Monday.

Meanwhile, the state expects to have the project complete by June 2014.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.