TIGER grant aids Baton Rouge streetcar plan

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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Louisiana's state capital, Baton Rouge, may join the state's largest city as a streetcar site thanks to a $1.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, publicly announced Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 by the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

The proposed 3.1-mile route would stretch down the city’s Nicholson Drive, among other locations serving Louisiana State University (LSU).

“This generous grant will help LSU’s own re-development program focused on connecting students with the larger community,” LSU President and Chancellor Dr. F. King Alexander said in a press release issued through Sen. Landrieu’s office.

Other locations likely to be served include the State Capitol, the IBM campus now under construction, the Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge River Center, North Boulevard Town Square, a proposed Water Campus research hub, a proposed River District mixed-use development, and Old South Baton Rouge neighborhood.

Streetcar advocates note that the mode would not just serve those developments already in place or under way but would spur other projects, including some infill development.

The TIGER funds will allow the city and parish to proceed with design specifications, expected to cost $2.76 million.