St. Charles council Oks transit authority formation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 11, 1999

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / Febuary 11, 1999

HAHNVILLE – Highways and mass transit occupied much of the attention of the St. Charles Parish Council at its Feb. 1 meeting.The council passed a resolution which called for formation of a River Region Transit Authority, to include St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St.James parishes.

The parish governments informally agreed on the concept at the River Region Caucus meeting of Jan. 27.Forming this transit authority, according to the resolution introduced by Parish Councilman G. “Ram” Ramchandran, would enable applying for stateand federal funding to support the project.

Once established, the authority could possibly be expanded into Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

In another matter, the parish council discussed but tabled a resolution asking the state highway department to proceed with a long-planned service road to run alongside U.S. Highway 90, which itself is to beupgraded to become an extension of Interstate 49, linking Lafayette with New Orleans.

The state Department of Transportation and Development bought rights- of-way along U.S. 90’s west side between Willowdale Boulevard andHahnville High School years ago, but the project stalled for lack of funding.

Ramchandran’s resolution noted as well that the parish is growing quickly and the highway already “poses a severe safety concern for everyone required to drive it daily.”Councilman Terry Authement, in another matter, called on council to help relieve chronic flooding conditions at the major intersection of Louisiana Highway 633 (Magnolia Ridge Road) and U.S. 90.Authement called upon parish resources to install sub-surface drainage and connect it to the drainage system east of Majoria Supermarket.

Councilman Barry Minnich disagreed, saying the influx of water would put a strain on Blouin and Cousins canals.

“You’re creating a problem down the road,” he said.

Parish President Chris Tregre, in taking note of the resolution’s call for a budget amendment to fund the project at the next meeting on Feb. 22,commented, “Your time frame is very unrealistic.”The resolution passed, with Tregre’s notation, “So long as you understand, this is a request.”Finally, Councilmen Steve Sirmon and Curtis Johnson offered a resolution to pave a section of the Texaco Road leading to the Luling Oxidation Pond behind Lakewood West Subdivision. It was pointed out by parish attorney Randy Lewis that legal matters would delay the project, and the matter was tabled.

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