The Perkins Road overpass area could look drastically different in a few years if the state successfully implements its plan to cut off the existing interchange and add a new multi-use path. The revamp is part of LADOTD’s plan to widen I-10.
An environmental study released by the state in October says 17 properties could be demolished—partially or wholly—as part of the expansion project. However, a larger number of other businesses along Perkins Road would see access changes with the removal of off- and on-ramps between I-10 and Perkins Road.
The new layout would restrict interstate access to the larger ramps on South Acadian Thruway, less than a half-mile away. That would free up space behind the businesses on Perkins between Baywood and Glendale avenues—including more than a dozen restaurants and bars—to extend Greenwood Drive as a two-lane road and add a bike/pedestrian path.
Zippy’s owner Neal Hendrick estimates the ramps’ closure could have a 5% to 10% negative effect on business because of the connection it provides to downtown, though that could be offset by a new flux of foot traffic spurred by the multi-use path.
Area business owners say the pedestrian path could bring new access to the heavily trafficked area that doesn’t currently exist.
“I think it’s cool. Around here, people already do walk, but there’s no designated place to do so,” Bet-R Grocery owner Cliff Boulden says.
One of the overpass area’s newest residents, BLDG5 owner Brumby Broussard agrees.
“Any bike path, I’m always for it,” Broussard says. “There are so many rooftops around here; it’s a great area, a great neighborhood.”
Hendrick says he’d like to see crosswalks added to the plan to increase pedestrian safety and access from adjoining residential areas. Plans also call for restoring and adding new parking areas under I-10 and green space near where the multi-use trail intersects with Perkins Road.