More roundabouts coming to Ham Reid Road

More roundabouts coming to Ham Reid Road

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - While the roundabout at Nelson and Ham Reid Road still isn't completed, parish engineers are planning more roundabouts for that area.

In total Ham Reid Road will get four roundabouts as it is extended from Elliott Road to Big Lake Road, with the project costing close to $6 million.

With more people comes more traffic, and Ham Reid Road has definitely felt the impact.

"We did a traffic study several years ago that indicated that the intersection was not adequate for the future growth that was going to occur in the area," said Calcasieu Parish traffic engineer Cliff Brouhard.

So to get ahead of possible future congestion, parish engineers are planning more roundabouts to Ham Reid Road.

The first will be at the intersection of Big Lake Road and Graywood Parkway. Bell Brame lives near the intersection and is all for a roundabout.

"Yeah, I think it's a great idea," said Brame. "I know the new roundabout getting onto the interstate....that worked out pretty good."

Principal Reverend Frances "Boo" Kay's new school will be near the new intersection, and is also excited about the project.

"I just think it will make traffic flow more smoothly," said Kay.

At the intersection of Ham Reid Road and Elliott Road will be the next roundabout. There are also plans to extend Elliott Road out to Big Lake Road.

Brouhard says the extension will be a mile in length, with a 16-foot-wide median, one 12-foot lane in each direction, and, along with sidewalks, an eight-foot shoulder to accommodate cyclists.

"Lake Street is a bear," said resident Teddy Knall.

"Normally in the mornings and late afternoons it's almost impossible to get out of Ham Reid onto Lake," said resident Mike Wells.

So the last roundabout will be coming to that intersection, but neighbors Wells and  Knall aren't as optimistic that the new roundabout will help with traffic.

"I'm not sure, because you'll have Ham Reid T-ing into Lake," said Wells.

"We are a half-year behind schedule on the one that's supposed to be so wonderful and ready in January, so I'm kind of underwhelmed with that, but I mean I'm interested to see what it will do for Lake and Ham," said Knall.

But Brouhard believes in the end this will be a project residents will enjoy, but until then residents will have to wait and see.

"We'll see," said Brame. "We'll see how it goes."

The construction for the roundabouts are expected to take place in early fall of 2018. Brouhard says because the project is so early out there is not a set estimate on how long it will take.

As for the roundabout at Nelson and Ham Reid Road, he says cars will be able to travel through the roundabout before school starts this year.

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