If Shreveport citizens are losing sleep over the proposed garbage fee, then its best they not put the Feb. 2019 State of Municipal Infrastructure on their night stand for bedtime reading.
City ordinance requires the Shreveport Department of Engineering and Environmental Services to render two reports each year which compare the needed capital project investment in water supply treatment and distribution and the wastewater collection and treatment system with the actual investments made each year. This report has been expanded by The Infrastructure Committee of the city council to include streets and drainage.
The ‘low lights” of this latest report are not good. This is the first in a series setting forth key elements of this 30 page report.
Early in 2009, the main-frame computer that managed the Traffic Signal System in Shreveport took heavy damage from a fire. This thirty year old central system is now completely off line and has no option for repair. Unfortunately, the back up system for this equipment is even older. Signals within the city are now operating on equipment that is, in some cases, over sixty years old.
This turn of events is causing congestion, increased driver frustration, and an overall drop in motorist’s safety throughout the City. Small projects, such as Youree Drive and the signals along I-20, have updated roughly fifteen percent of the system. These improvements were funded by seven million dollars in federal grant monies obtained from 2001 - 2005.
Further improvement is expected with the Kings Highway Signal System project and the Traffic Signal Emergency Power Backup Generator project. To completely utilize the capabilities these improvements represent, more work is needed. The estimated total cost to rehabilitate the entire system is approximately $60 million dollars.
This explains the frustration drivers experience on major arteries were traffic lights are not “timed.” No doubt raceing to hit green lights contributes to auto accidents.
This traffic system update is just one of the many expensive infrastructure needs of Shreveport. Stay tuned for more pressing financial needs of the city.
(This article was published in The Inquisitor on Thursday, February 28, 2019)