Parish Council funds study for levee bike trail

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 16, 2006


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The St. John Parish Council approved funding Tuesday that will help determine the feasibility of a 110-mile levee bike path, citing that it not only would be used for recreation, but could also act as an emergency evacuation route.

St. John approved $12,500 to fund the bike path study, out of a total of $250,000 needed to conduct the study. The remaining funds will be contributed from the Army Corps of Engineers in the amount of $125,000 and $62,500 from the Pontchartrain Levee District. The remaining $62,500 needed would be split evenly amongst Ascension, Iberville, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John Parishes.

The study will be conducted by Baton Rouge firm SJB Group LLC to determine the feasibility of completing a bike path from New Orleans to Baton Rouge on the East Bank of the Mississippi River as outlined in the resolution.

West Bank Councilman Lester Rainey opposed the bike path because it excluded the west side of St. John, but ended up voting to approve the resolution along with forwarding a copy to the Lafourche Basin Levee District, who handles the west bank’s levee.

Councilman Steve Lee commended Rainey on his vote and for approaching the Lafourche Basin Levee District and said he would support him fully in a separate resolution to implement a similar bike path for the west bank.

&#8220I think you made an excellent decision on your part Mr. Rainey because it is the levee district pushing for this thing,” Lee said. &#8220I’ll be happy to support you under a separate motion at a later time that we move forward and ask the Lafourche levee board to do the same thing on your behalf.”

Rainey also noted that the St. Charles Parish Council had voted down the resolution during their Oct. 3 meeting, but Lee said he was assured by members of their council that it would pass at the next meeting.