MONROE, La. (AP) — For decades, local, state and federal officials have been considering proposals to build a fourth bridge across the Ouachita River to ease congestion on the three other bridges in Ouachita Parish.

The News-Star reports ( ) that federal officials are now seeking local input about the bridge proposal and alternatives, a discussion that in the more than 40 years of bickering over a new bridge has drawn heated debate.

On June 28, the government announced it will release an environmental impact statement for a portion of the Louisiana Highway 143-U.S. Highway 165 Connector and the Ouachita River bridge, commonly known as the northern loop bridge route.