Smoke from I-49 clearing project fills sky

Smoke from I-49 clearing project fills sky

If you live in North Shreveport, near the MLK area, your neighborhood has most likely been filled with smoke within the last 24 hours.

A smokey sky greeted drivers in north Shreveport on Wednesday morning.

"Well, I was coming home from the post office down there on Freestate, and there was smoke everywhere, and it was just so bad,” says neighbor Donna Parker. “It was thick and I thought something was on fire, so I hurried up and came home, and when I got here, I mean, the wind was blowing so hard, I didn't know what was going on."

Louisiana D.O.T.D. crews are burning brush and timber to make way for section j of Interstate-49, which goes from LA 1 to MLK Boulevard.

Contractors have a permit to burn debris on site, instead of hauling it away.

"The contractor is getting rid of some of that debris, and doing that was doing a little bit of burning today," says Susan Stafford, spokesperson for Louisiana D.O.T.D.

Smoke and the smell of burning trees filled homes Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

"The smoke was so thick, I mean, I almost had to pull over to get down Grimmett Drive, because I couldn't see,” says Parker. “It was bad, it was real bad."

Mohammed Zeidan manages the Shell gas station on the corner of MLK and North Market, and he says he could barely stay inside of his store.

"When I opened up the store, it was all clouded up," says Zeidan.
Plus customers were complaining.

"Customers were saying it looked like a house burned down,” says Zeidan. “The smell was so bad, you know, they couldn't breathe."

Since the roadway won't be laid down for another two months, crews could burn more debris, creating the smokey skies again.

Once section J of I-49 is complete, the final segment from MLK to I-220 will go to bid in December.

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