CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Over 200 people packed the Managan Center in Westlake on Wednesday evening. All eyes focused on the projector which went through a presentation of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's three alternatives for Highway 378.
"The purpose of the meeting tonight was to present some early conceptual alignments for connecting Louisiana 378 between Westlake and Moss Bluff," said District Traffic Engineer, Patrick Landry.
Landry also said he wasn't surprised with the large turn-out.
"The community is pretty involved which is what we want," he said.
Residents who came to the meeting said they wanted to learn more about the three proposals being considered as well as to voice their concerns to DOTD officials.
"I live on the corner of Phillips and Davis and my house is maybe 12 feet away from the road. If they widen it, that's gonna knock me out of a home. So, I'm wondering which alternative they plan on using, but it looks like any alternative they use, I'm messed up," explained Jerry Demarest.
Fortunately, DOTD officials say they will look at every concern.
"Even if it's one person's concern, if it's a legitimate concern, we'll address each one of those individually," said Landry.
Others say the proposals are a short-term fix.
"I think it's just a Band-Aid. I've seen these before. And by the time they get this thing built, it'll be congested again, it'll be outdated in my opinion," said Clyde Dennis.
And many shared a common concern for Alternative C, which proposes a highway cut through the Sam Houston Jones State Park.
"The park is one thing you can't put back easily," said Emma Nixon.
"I don't know who else is going to talk for the animals. Plenty of people are concerned about their houses," said Dr. Susan Kelso.
Some residents voiced additional options like adding an I-210 North Loop. All comments were collected by DOTD officials Wednesday evening and they'll be looking for common concerns.
Comments will be accepted until Sept. 28.
To submit a comment: http://www.dotd.la.gov/pressreleases/release.aspx?key=2409
Additional information on the three proposals: http://www.kplctv.com/story/23420900/dotd-to-widen-highway-378