Over a decade later and still no completion to the Enterprise Boulevard expansion project

Over a decade later and still no completion to the Enterprise Boulevard expansion project
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was pitched an opportunity to bring economic growth to the north side of Lake Charles, but now it seems the Enterprise Boulevard Extension project will never come to fruition.

The second phase still hasn't been completed to connect Enterprise Boulevard to Highway 171.

Wednesday night city council member Mary Morris suggested another plan to get things rolling.

Restaurants, condos, and retail outlets supposed to come for North Lake Charles, but it's been well over a decade and not much progress has been made for the Enterprise Boulevard Extension project.

Five years ago, the city completed the first phase which extended all the way to Katherine Street and cost $12.5 million.

Today District A resident Fitzgerald Darbone is left asking about a new project, that has some ties to the Enterprise project.

The item in question would allow the City of Lake Charles to widen Fitzenreiter Road, and make improvements from Martin Luther King Highway to Goos Boulevard.

It would cost $6 million, but the city has only half of the money.

That money comes from the city's capital budget - not bond money. Some of that funding is currently allocated for the Enterprise project.

"I feel that we can use that money… (the) $3.2 million to do other projects in North Lake Charles versus widening up Fitzenreiter Road, said Darbone

Back and forth between the council and residents, and the fact it's not fully funded, caused Mary Morris to withdraw the measure.

"Money for projects are not done in one year," said Morris. "It's just like any other project, we save until we get the money to do it completely."

With that idea failing, and still, no completed Enterprise extension project, former council member and one of the project's biggest supporters, Marshal Simien, says the city owes it to residents to finish what they started.

"This whole city made a commitment to get that done because we know how much is going to be generated when this develops and we're not growing the city," said Simien.

Morris says she'll continue to work and find ways to hopefully get the Enterprise project completed.

However, she does plan to use the capital budget money originally allocated for the extension project, on other projects that could benefit residents in North Lake Charles.

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