Support for Nicholson streetcar continues to wane as deadline nears

Baton Rouge's proposed TramLink BR project is on hold (FILE PHOTO)

With a February deadline rapidly approaching, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome remains undecided as to whether she will push forward with plans for Tramlink BR, a 3.4-mile modern streetcar that would run along Nicholson Drive, connecting LSU with downtown.

The mayor must decide in the next few weeks whether to enter into a contract with the city’s consulting firm on the project, HNTB, to prepare an application to submit to the federal government for some $85 million, half the estimated $170 million needed for the project. The application is due in September and HNTB officials have said it will take about six months to complete.

The prospects for the tram do not appear strong. Broome clearly is not advocating for the project, though she acknowledges it would have some merit as an economic development tool. She’s also not pushing the Metro Council to fund the HNTB contract. Broome says her administration has been talking to council members in recent weeks and sees little interest from them in moving forward.

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