MLK neighbors deal with smoke from I-49 tree burning

Published 07/15 2014 10:21PM

Updated 07/15 2014 10:29PM

First it's smoke from the Harrelson Landfill, now it's smoke from I-49 construction. Neighbors in Shreveport’s MLK area can't seem to catch a break.

"By them building over there, that's disturbing this household, which we didn't have this problem at first," says Jennifer Solomon, who has lived in the MLK community for 14 years.

Segment K of I-49 will go from I-220 to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.

"So the first phase includes the clearing,” says Susan Stafford, spokesperson with Louisiana DOTD. “It's going to be the clearing, it's going to be the utility relocation, it also is going to be some relocation to Martin Luther King Drive, and then we're going to have the construction of the service roads."

Stafford says for phase I, crews have to clear the pathway by burning trees.

For Solomon, the smoke is overwhelming, and it doesn't help that the path sits at her front door.

"I have to go to the drug store and have to take sinus inhalants and just some mist inhalants in order to try to get a breath of fresh air, inside the house and outside the house," says Solomon.

She says the smoke comes through her vents in the morning and at night.

Plus, she has to deal with any rodents that leave the wooded area to go elsewhere.

But until the phase is done, Solomon is stuck with the smoke and an altered view.

"At first, it was solitude, now it's not solitude," says Solomon.

The first phase won't be complete until December 2015, but DOTD crews expect to wrap up tree burning by the end of July.

The second phase will start in October or November, and that won't wrap up until 2016/2017.

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