Bike path coming to East Bank

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 13, 2002


HAHNVILLE – Construction of a bicycle path for the East Bank along the Mississippi River levee will begin in a matter of weeks, according to planner Stephen Finnegan of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Finnegan reported to the St. Charles Parish Council at its meeting Monday that Angelo Iafrate Construction submitted the lowest of three bids for the job. The parish government is expected to ratify that choice and inform the state highway department, who will authorize the construction.

The low bid submitted was $1,054,438.05. The other bidders were from Barrier Construction with $1.098 million and Boh Brothers Construction with $1.189 million.

In about two weeks after the authorization from the parish, a pre-construction conference will be held with the successful bidder and work should start by late June or early July, Finnegan said. The eight-mile-long, nine-foot-wide bike path will start at the Jefferson Parish line in St. Rose and extend to Ormond Boulevard.

Along the way, a one-acre mini-park will be built at Charlestowne Subdivision, across from the new library, where a 10-car parking lot, restrooms, bike rack, water fountains and bike ramps to the crown of the levee will be added.

Additional scenic overlooks, with zig-zag pedestrian paths, will be installed at Destrehan Plantation and Ormond Plantation. Bike access ramps will be located at the East Bank Bridge Park, St. Rose Avenue and Ormond Boulevard.

This segment of the path should be completed by mid-fall, with later phases to extend it all the way to St. John the Baptist Parish.

Eventually, a similar bike path will be built on the West Bank, as funding becomes available, which will extend in either direction from the West Bank Bridge Park, four miles in each direction as part of the first phase, with construction anticipated by spring 2003.

This project would include a large scenic overlook under the Hale Boggs Bridge with a connection to the West Bank Bridge Park.

That design will be in Corps of Engineers local review in mid-June for 30 days, then deal with review comments and design adjustments. By mid-August to early September, the Corps will send the design to DOTD for preparation of the bid package, this process usually taking four months.