Report: Lake Charles fastest-growing Bayou State city

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Updated: Jun. 14, 2017 at 7:28 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's no secret the City of Lake Charles is growing. It's evident when you look around, with construction underway for many projects across the area.

"We've had tremendous investment from companies," said George Swift, president of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. "Right now we have $45 billion in projects underway and we have at least 16 thousand construction workers working on these projects. And we have an additional $72 billion of projects in the pipeline, which make us at least $117 billion, so this is unprecedented for our area."

Recently, Lake Charles was named the fastest-growing city in the state according to a report using annual population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Swift attributes a lot of that to the industrial, gaming and hospitality industries.

KPLC's Candy Rodriguez spoke with several residents who welcome the growth.

"I think it's wonderful that we have such a boom in business," said Gwen Canty. "It's good for the economy."

"I'm happy," said Marilyn Charles.

"I'm enjoying it," added Francis Landry.

But not everyone enjoys everything that accompanies the growth.

"There's a lot of traffic," said Jairee Braxton.

"On the freeways, on the road, in the parking lot of the grocery store, everywhere there are more cars," Charles said.

To which Swift had this response: "Ride to Houston one afternoon and spend about three hours in traffic over there and you'll come back and be glad you're here in Southwest Louisiana."

Overall, for born-and-raised resident Vernon Geyen it's an achievement for his beloved city.

"That's a great thing because that's powerful when you're the fastest-growing. That means you scored some touchdowns," he said, laughing while chanting "Go Lake Charles, go Lake Charles, go!"

Other cities that made the list include Conroe, Texas;  Auburn, Alabama;  and Moore, Oklahoma.

To take a closer look at the report and the full list of cities click HERE.

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