DOTD proposes widening of Highway 378 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DOTD proposes widening of Highway 378

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Big changes are possible for Highway 378 between Moss Bluff and Westlake.

Right now, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is studying three proposed options, including one that could impact Sam Houston Jones State Park.

And although it's just a feasibility study, which means no one particular option has been selected as of yet, residents say there are pros and cons to the options.

Highway 378 in Westlake is usually busy, but drivers say it's congested during rush hour.

Standing outside a daycare center on 378, Patricia Shahon said, "When I come and drop her off around 7:30 in the morning, I'll have to sit here for 10 to 15 minutes in order to just turn."

Recognizing that, DOTD is doing a Stage 0 Feasibility Study on widening the highway in Westlake.

"For example, you have that two lane section from John Stine Road to LA 378 Spur, so of course, we want to widen that out to be able to accommodate the traffic that's moving along in the corridor," explained DOTD public information officer, Deidra Druilhet.

And they're considering three options. Although the plans vary slightly, the one thing that is the same for all three is that 378 would be widened to four lanes instead of two.

Alternative A would closely follow the existing alignment but make improvements at the 90 degree turns at Westwood and Phillips Road, and at Phillips and Davis Road.

Alternative B would realign 378 from Hudson to Davis Road to the east of the existing roadway.

Alternative C would follow the existing alignment to the intersection of Westwood and Phillips Road and then realign the route to the west of the existing roadway.

When Shahon thought about widening the highway, she said, "I think that'd be very beneficial, it would help cut down on the accidents because there's a lot of accidents past here off Goos."

But one alternative cuts through Sam Houston Jones State Park.

"There is an alternative that would realign the road through the park but one thing I do need to emphasize is this is just a feasibility study. We have to look at every option," said Druilhet.

But Robert Landry thinks other options should be considered.

"I know there's some land on the other side of the river they can probably come across. It might take some residential land out of there but I think they should leave out the state park," said Landry.

DOTD officials say nothing is final and they're encouraging people to attend a public meeting next week to learn more. They also still have to gather impacts that are associated with each of the alternatives.

Meeting information:

Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Managan Center, 1000 McKinley Street in Westlake (the corner of Sampson Street).

DOTD is accepting written statements or comments. They may be submitted at the meeting, or may be mailed to the following address, postmarked within 10 days following the meeting (by Sept. 28):

LA 378 Stage 0 Feasibility Study,

c/o N-Y Associates, Inc.

ATTN: Bruce J. Richards

2750 Lake Villa Dr. - Suite 100

Metairie, LA 70002

Those with special needs requiring special assistance at the meeting are asked to call Bruce Richards of N-Y Associates, Inc. at (504) 885-0500.

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