Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority announced this morning their partners on the Plank Road corridor project, though details on the timeline or scope of the project remain scant.
The partners will help with planning efforts and community engagement. The group includes: J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Investar Bank, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Coca-Cola, General Informatics, WHPacific, ExxonMobil, Georgia-Pacific, Tony’s Seafood and APTIM.
“We cannot imagine Plank Road, we cannot imagine any ZIP code, being uplifted and revitalized unless we have the partnerships to make it happen,” Broome said, standing at the corner of Plank Road and Choctaw Drive. “Nothing happens without collaboration, and cooperation and partnerships.”
RDA President and CEO Chris Tyson says there are three components to the project: Transit-oriented development, addressing vacant and blighted lots, and a comprehensive revitalization plan. Tyson adds more details on each of those efforts would be forthcoming.
Core to the project is the Capital Area Transit System’s effort to establish the state’s first bus rapid transit line on the corridor. Tyson says they’re currently working to identify sources for the local match needed to apply for federal funds.
“Mobility is at the center of people’s needs and how they live their lives,” Tyson says, noting the rapid transit line would be 10 miles long and connect north and south Baton Rouge with 10 miles of new infrastructure and transit services.
The RDA raised $250,000 to support the planning and community engagement component of the Plank Road project, Tyson says, adding that “Walk the Plank,” a walking-and-bus tour of Plank Road is being hosted this Saturday as the first community outreach event for the project.