Airline Highway streetscape improvements among projects receiving DOTD funding

Published 8:18 am Saturday, September 9, 2023

LAPLACE — U.S. 61 streetscape improvements in St. John the Baptist can go out to bid earlier than expected thanks to record-breaking funding from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

LaDOTD received word last week that its request for $210 million in additional federal highway funding was approved due to successfully obligating all federal funding received for the 2022-23 fiscal year. This allows DOTD to address projects that are on the books but would otherwise not move forward as scheduled because of inflation and lack of available funding.

The U.S. 61 streetscapes project will include the construction of a sidewalk with drainage, landscaping, and green infrastructure improvements along a portion of Airline Highway.

During a Parish Council meeting in LaPlace, St. John Parish Purchasing Director Peter Montz said the U.S. 61 Streetscape improvements are separate from the ongoing LA SAFE project, which features beautification and drainage improvements along a segment of Airline Highway and Main Street in LaPlace.

“This will close the gap between Carrollwood Drive and Home Depot with the construction that is taking place right now on both sides of Highway 61,” Montz said.

He added that DOTD will partner in financing and delivering this project through reimbursement of eligible expenses. A unanimous vote from the Parish Council on July 11 authorized Parish President Jaclyn Hotard to execute all documents and agreements in connection with the project.

Streetscape and stormwater enhancements are included in St. John Parish’s resilience strategy with goals of alleviating localized flooding and stimulating economic activity along major parish corridors. St. John Parish is also working toward a complete streets improvement along Belle Terre Boulevard.

DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda said the funding will advance quite a few highway, bridge and safety projects in every part of the state.

“Our infrastructure needs continue, and we will continue taking advantage of every possible funding opportunity in order to give citizens and guests of Louisiana the safe and reliable transportation system they deserve,” he said.

A bulk of the $210 million in DOTD funding will address bids that came in over budget across Louisiana, notably the Leo Kerner moveable bridge replacement phase one and the Harvey Canal Tunnel rehabilitation in Jefferson Parish, right-of-way acquisition for LA 30 in East Baton Rouge Parish, and LA 30 roundabouts at the Tanger Mall and I-10 in Ascension Parish.

Below is the full list of projects that will bid sooner with the remaining $71.72 million.

  • LA 1024 Creek bridges near Friendship in Livingston Parish
  • LA 1026 roundabout at Eden Church Rd. in Livingston Parish
  • S. 61 streetscape improvements in St. John the Baptist Parish
  • LA 15 between Slocum and Deer Park in Concordia Parish
  • LA 376 bayou bridges in Evangeline Parish
  • Van Buren Street over Corporation Canal in East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Terrace Ave. pavement rehabilitation in St. Tammany Parish
  • S. 90 between LA 311 and McMahon Canal in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes
  • Calcasieu Parish overlays phase 1A
  • Town of Oberlin sidewalks in Allen Parish
  • Westdale Plantation Rd./Bayou Pierre bridge replacement in Red River Parish
  • LA 675 and LA 87 improvements in New Iberia in Iberia Parish
  • I-12 at Sherwood Forest pedestrian/bike safety in East Baton Rouge Parish
  • S. 165 southbound lane between LA 524 and LA 123 in Grant Parish
  • Rumble strips/signs/pavement markings in Avoyelles, Natchitoches, and Rapides parishes
  • LA 521 bridges near Dykesville in Claiborne Parish
  • LA 507, LA 514, and local road bridge replacements in Bienville and Red River parishes
  • LA 3124 between Bogalusa city limits and LA 10 in Washington Parish
  • I-10 at LA 97 in Jennings interchange lighting in Jefferson Davis Parish
  • LA 6 roundabout at LA 504 in Natchitoches Parish
  • LA 27 between LA 108 and I-10 in Calcasieu Parish