In August, leaders of the City of Shreveport, SporTran, BRF, LSU Health Shreveport, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and the Louisiana Department of Transportation announced a $22 million grant award to improve public transit and infrastructure along the Shreveport Healthcare and Development Corridor. The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be matched with $5.5 million from the City of Shreveport. As a result of this grant, over $27 million will be invested in the 1.6-mile corridor, which spans Kings Highway from I-20 to I-49.
The proposed corridor projects funded by the grant include:
• Reconstructed roadways, transit bus pull-outs and streetscaping;
• Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) using battery-electric bus technology;
• Enhanced Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access;
• Traffic signal improvements and emergency vehicle preemption (EVP) technology;
• Improved pedestrian facilities including signals, a pedestrian bridge, and sidewalks;
• Protected bike lanes, traditional bike lanes, and sharrows; and
• Improved street lighting.
“Entities on the Healthcare Corridor are collaborating like never before, and the RAISE grant is proof of that,” said BRF President and CEO John F. George Jr., M.D.. “We are working together to effect positive change in Shreveport. BRF was pleased to support the city in its application and will continue to be a partner on this and other city-led projects.”
BRF, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, LSU Health Shreveport, Shriners Hospital for Children and Willis-Knighton Health are key project stakeholders and form the major institutions that call the corridor home. Together, these entities have planned investments in the corridor over the next five years that exceed $300 million.
Several projects along the corridor are complete or are already under way. In June, BRF opened its new $19.5 million Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy (CMIT) at the corner of Kings Highway and Mansfield Road. The new facility is now one of only a handful of privately operated facilities in the nation with similar capabilities and suite of services. CMIT’s three key services include:
• Clinical services enabling patients to receive the highest quality molecular imaging and therapy care available,
• Manufacturing services providing hospitals and research centers with the most up-to-date radiopharmaceuticals available, and
• Basic and preclinical research capabilities and services including personnel and equipment to develop new radiopharmaceuticals and support collaborations with higher education institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
Construction of LSU Health Shreveport’s $74 million Center for Medical Education is scheduled to be completed in 2023. The new facility will allow LSU Health Shreveport to increase its medical school class size by 33 percent; educate more healthcare professionals for our region, creating sustainable economic growth; foster research innovation; and reimagine the student experience by providing 21,500 square feet for student wellness, including space for fitness, meditation, counseling, nutritional wellness, a multi-activity center and more.
Other developments along the corridor include a $5.36 million grant from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative to improve stormwater management. The grant, whose application was jointly completed by the City of Shreveport and BRF, will fund clearing, grading and earthwork to construct flood storage areas in low-lying areas along and near the corridor, alleviating potential flood impacts on facilities. Work is currently under way.
“These grant dollars and the investments by our partners in the Healthcare and Development Corridor are upgrading and improving a critical area of our city,” said Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins. “To keep Shreveport’s economy strong, we need a healthy and vibrant Healthcare Corridor, and this funding will help ensure that.”
Investment from the city, state and federal governments and local partners is protecting and improving one of Shreveport’s most important assets.