A person would be hard pressed to find an area in North Louisiana growing faster than Bossier Parish. And, one of the fastest growing is the Forest Hills Subdivision in the Haughton area.

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With that growth comes a number of troublesome opportunities if the area's infrastructure aren't addressed. Issues with increased need for water, sewerage, power, schools and one of the most important opportunities concerns safety; fire safety, specifically.

It's that fire safety need that has just been addressed with a joint effort between Bossier Parish Fire District 1 and the Bossier Parish Police Jury, which is expected to go a long way toward helping head off problems both during emergency situations in a local neighborhood and in the case of accidents on U.S. Hwy. 80.

The two entities have teamed to construct a new cutoff road connecting Forest Hills Boulevard with Hwy. 80 at the Fire District’s headquarters. According to Fire Chief Robert Roe, “This new road will help us avoid having to get onto Highway 80 heading west and then turn on Forest Hill.” Roe continued, “This allows us to leave our station and go directly to the neighborhood much quicker if we’re responding to an emergency. Saving time could mean saving lives or property.”

It's Not For Usage By Private Vehicles Except in Emergencies

Roe said the new road isn’t intended to be used as a shortcut for private vehicles. Plans call for an electronic gate to be installed where the road enters the fire district’s training area and connects with Liberty Hill Drive. But, the Chief said, motorists could find themselves using the road if an accident occurs at the busy intersection of Hwy. 80 and Forest Hills Blvd. “If there’s a wreck at that intersection, traffic could be blocked without any means of exit from the neighborhood,” he said. “If that’s the case, we’ll open the gate and allow traffic to exit through the new road. The traffic using the road will be monitored, though.”

It Will Have An Additional Purpose in the Future

While the road was constructed with an eye toward emergency situations, it will serve another purpose in the future. Roe said the road is the first step toward a new District 1 Fire Headquarters. “We’re planning to build a new fire station here on the south corner of the new road and Forest Hills Blvd. We’ve got about three acres and we’ve been putting money aside each year to help pay for the facility,” he said. “We’re looking at a cost of around three million dollars.”

Fire District 1 serves roughly 18,000 residents outside the Haughton city limits and along the East 80 corridor and covers an area of roughly 160 square miles. District 1 also provides service for the Camp Minden facilities.

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