Walk right this way, please: St. John celebrates activity trails

Published 12:02 am Saturday, August 12, 2017

GARYVILLE — Have you ever thought about walking or biking safely from Airline Highway to River Road? What about taking the levee from the parish line of St. Charles all the way to the parish line of St. James?

These activity dreams are becoming realities for local outdoor enthusiasts and up-and-coming weekend warriors.

“These projects have been in the works for a long time, and we look forward to continuing the phases with the hard work and collaboration of our local and state partners,” St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said. “We are pleased that we are one step closer to have a trail that runs through the entire parish, which promotes a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for residents.”

Parish leaders and supporters were all smiles last week, celebrating where Garyville Trail Phase I ends and Phase II extends to Louisiana 54.

Robottom, along with Parish Council members Larry Snyder and Julia Remondet, parish staff and community members, were all smiles last week celebrating near the Historic Timbermill Museum in Garyville, where Garyville Trail Phase I ends and Phase II extends to Louisiana 54 at the Kansas City Southern Railroad.

Designed by Meyer Engineers, with assistance from lead David Dupre, the trail includes a pedestrian route from Airline Highway to River Road.

Included are shoulder bike lane striping, an asphalt path and a concrete sidewalk.

Constructed by Barriere Construction Company, the concrete sidewalk stretches from River Road to Stebbins Street, near St. John’s Child Development Center.

Garden District Track Club President Za Maurin said bike paths are needed in every community.

“I want to thank the Parish Administration and Council for having the vision years ago to make this a reality,” Maurin added.

Parish officials said funding for the $427,097 project was provided through the Louisiana Recreational Trails Program at an 80/20 match, with St. John paying $85,419.

Parish officials also recently celebrated a ribbon cutting of the St. John Mississippi River East Bank Multi Use Path project, which includes construction of a two-mile asphalt path along the Mississippi River Levee to West 10th Street in Reserve. The project continues the effort that began at the St. Charles Parish lines and stopped at East 29th street.

Meyer Engineers is completing final design plans. Parish officials said they anticipate construction to start in the summer of 2018.

St. John administrators said they secured project funding through the Louisiana DOTD Transportation Alternatives Program. The construction cost was $1,419,612, with DOTD funding $1,255,735.