Can local infrastructure withstand the industrial tsunami?

    As South Louisiana braces for some 22 planned projects to break ground in Ascension and St. James parishes over the next two years, there’s concerns that local infrastructure may not hold up to the growth, 10/12 Industry Report writes. 

    Kate MacArthur, president/CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp., is worried about the roads in her parish. With the amount of projects planned there, she’s concerned the resulting surge in contractors and plant workers traveling down area highways could become unmanageable.

    “All these jobs we’re adding are great, but they’re projecting some 1,400 new permanent jobs over the next five years,” says MacArthur. “That means 1,400 more cars.”

    The number is exponentially higher when accounting for construction traffic. “The big question at the moment is where can we park people so that there aren’t 2,000 to 4,000 additional cars driving into the same area every day?” One solution that’s proposed for the parish? Double-decker buses.

    Roads are not the only concern. Local economist Loren Scott, of Loren C. Scott & Associates in Baton Rouge, warns that the projects could also strain the local power grid.  

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