Wright: St. John projects gain steam

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Capital Projects are underway as the middle of the year approaches.

The Safe Routes to School Grant project has started, which has the construction and installation of sidewalks near LaPlace Elementary School and East St. John Preparatory Academy.

This project was completely funded through the Department of Transportation and Development’s Safe Routes program, which aimed to reduce traffic congestion around the identified schools, improve safety, increase physical activity and improve health by making it easier for students to walk and bicycle to school.

The project involves construction of sidewalks, cross walks, signage and more. Approximately 5,000 linear feet of sidewalks will be placed by both of the schools through neighborhoods with the hopes of increasing physical activity and improve health by making it easier for students to walk and bicycle to school.

The 2019 Road Improvement Program is about to be underway with street maintenance.

Nearly $800,000 is budgeted for asphalt street overlay this year. Concrete panel repairs and sidewalk repairs will also underway.

The following streets are on the list to be asphalted:

• LaPlace – Actaea Street, Ashley Drive, Broussard Street, Bradford Street, Chickadee Street, Lark Drive, Magpie Street, Majorie Street, Martin Drive, Milton Drive and Robin Street

• Reserve – Cedar Drive, East 5th Street, Hickory Street and West 3rd Street

• Edgard – Cox Court, West 8th Street and East 9th Street Turnaround

Several major contracts were awarded and pushed through at the May 14 Council meeting.

The Parish Council renewed the contract with CrowderGulf LLC Disaster Recovery and Debris Management for Emergency Response, Management and Recovery Services. The contract was renewed for one year and is only activated during a natural or man-made disaster.

The Council also authorized the administration to solicit bids for construction of the Reserve Drainage Phase II Project. The design is now complete and this construction project is funded through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

As Hurricane Season comes quickly around the corner, residents can be comforted with the fact that our Hurricane Protection Levee project is underway. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the first of two tree and vegetation clearing contracts with work set to begin next month, taking an estimated six months to complete.

The second vegetation and tree clearing contract should be awarded later this summer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers anticipates the first construction contract to be awarded in mid 2020.

The USACE anticipates final levee construction to be completed in 2024. You can get more information on the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Project at www.mvn.usace.army.mil.

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