Wright: Eastbank Complex start of many parish projects

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The beginning of the 2016 term is underway and off to a fast start. The Parish Council has voted on a large number of major infrastructure improvements, and we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Council members authorized the Administration to solicit bids for construction of the Eastbank Government Complex. This project, which began in 2009, is a 44,130 square foot building that will centralize all government offices for most public services, including the Register of Voters, Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement, Clerk of Court, Utility billing, Finance, Grants and Council Offices.

It also includes a new state-of-the-art Council Chambers, Courtroom and Parish President’s Office. The new chambers will include seating for more than 100 people, enhanced sound, voting and camera systems. Enhancing the technology in our Chambers will hopefully alleviate the long standing issue of the poor video/audio feed quality in our existing chambers.

Projects funded through the 2014 bond issue are still underway. A bid was just awarded to a contractor for removal and replacement of existing concrete sidewalks on the Westbank. Phase III of the Reserve Drainage Project will be underway as the Council recently authorized administration to solicit bids for this project.

Substantial Completion was awarded to Barriere Construction Co. for the 2015 Road Improvements Project. This was more than $1.3 million of road improvements that were made to over 29 roads parish-wide.

Roads were selected based on condition, need, funding and input from Administration, Public Works staff, Council members and residents.

Additionally, we approved extensions for design of the McReine area, Belle Pointe and Marigold Street Drainage Improvement projects.

These projects will help alleviate standing water and flooding and improve drainage in the project area.

Lastly, we recently authorized the Administration to enter into an agreement with GSA Consulting Engineers for engineering services including design work, permitting and construction monitoring for Phase II of the Lac Des Allemands Shoreline Protection Project in Pleasure Bend.

The project extends the nearshore rock dike by 700-900 linear feet from the mouth of the Vacherie Canal westward further protecting the town of Pleasure Bend from further shoreline erosion.

Michael P. Wright is St. John the Baptist Parish Council District 5 representative. Contact him at District5@sjbparish.com.