St. John levee bike path focus of public meeting

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish residents concerned about future installments of the levee bike path disrupting bonfire activity can learn more at a public meeting next week.

St. John Parish administration and representatives of the Regional Planning Commission and Meyer Engineers LTD are holding the meeting Tuesday to present proposed plans for phase four of the Mississippi River Multi-Use Trail.

Phase four of the trail includes the levee section from West 10th Street in Reserve to the St. James Parish line.

“We are very early in the process of designing phase four of the multi-use trail and residents are encouraged to attend the first public meeting,” St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom said. “This is an opportunity to gather information about the proposed options for phase four and to obtain information about the completed sections and plans for phase three.”

Residents are invited to attend the meeting to receive updated information about the projects, and Parish Communications Director Paige Falgoust said the meeting will also include an opportunity for public comment.

Construction on the trail, designed for walking, touring or biking along the Mississippi River Levee, began in 2011. The first phase of the trail, a 2.5-mile paved path extending from the parish line at Lewis Street to the Walnut Street area near Emily C. Watkins Elementary School, was completed in October 2011.

The second phase, which stretches 2.84 miles from Walnut Street to Our Lady of Grace Church in Reserve, was completed in 2012.

Falgoust said the third phase will extend the path from Our Lady of Grace to West 10th Street in Reserve, and work on that phase will begin in February.

Falgoust said phase one and two run at the crown of the levee, and phase three will run at the toe of the levee in an effort to not disrupt traditional bonfire activity. She said the plans for where phase four will run will be discussed at the meeting.

The multi-use trail will eventually be part of a state proposed 110-mile levee path running continuously from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. The St. John Parish portion will eventually link up with an existing 23-mile levee path in St. Charles Parish that extends downriver from New Sarpy to Audubon Park in New Orleans.

The public meeting on phase four will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at St. John Parish Council Chambers, located at 1801 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace. For more information, call Falgoust at 985-652-9569, ext. 1177.