Transportation director gives update on Ascension Parish road work

Michael Tortorich

During the Ascension Parish Transportation Committee meeting held Nov. 9, Transportation Director Joey Tureau proposed to committee members a plan to install street signs at main intersections along Hwy. 44.

The intersections tabbed for signs include Germany Road, Cantee Road, and Bayou Narcisse.

Transportation Committee Chair Aaron Lawler smiles during the council meeting held earlier this month.

The cost would be just more than $600 for each sign, Tureau said, and parish workers would handle the installation.

Tureau said he applied for a permit through the state Department of Transportation and Development for adding the new signs.

Later in his report, Tureau went over DOTD projects of interest coming in the new year. Those include: adding a double left turn lane from Airline Hwy. onto Old Perkins, which should be early next year; a roundabout at Hwy. 44 and Hwy. 941; and a roundabout on Hwy. 30 at Interstate 10.

Though not planned, he said extending Airline Hwy. to six lanes would be a benefit to commuters in both East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.

Committee Chair Aaron Lawler said adding lanes is part of the master transportation plan.

Tureau also mentioned C. Braud Road, which has been let for bid, as well as the Henry at Hwy. 930 roundabout. Both are set to appear on the last council meeting agenda of this month, he added.

The Germany at Airline project will be advertised late this year. Also, Joe Sevario intersections at Merrit Evans and Norwood improvements will be advertised later this year, according to Tureau.

“There’s going to be plenty of construction that will keep us very busy,” Tureau said. “We’ve got a whole slew of things to do. I don’t know if we’ve got enough people to cover everything.”

In a separate matter, Tureau went over plans for the proposed Lemannville Cutoff road project.

The road work spans from Hwy. 3120 to the area just past the Ascension Parish Jail.

“We’re going to make the lanes nice and wide there, and straighten out the curve to a lot better than what it is now,” Tureau said.

Committee members expressed concerns about the cost of the project, and a lack of details.

Tureau said the existing road is about 17 to 18 feet. The goal is to make it 20 feet.

“For me personally, I’m a little concerned with approving something we don’t know how much it will cost,” Lawler said. “It could completely devastate our 2021 budget for roads that get a lot more use, that have much higher safety issues. Frankly, we don’t know if this road really needs it.”

A motion was made to table the item to the next meeting and allow Tureau to return with estimates for the project. It passed without objection.

In another parish government meeting last week:

-- Recreation Director B.J. Romano gave an update to the Recreation Committee on various ongoing projects.

He said bids have closed for work on the skate park. Approved bids head to the finance department next.

Romano also said bidding on gym work will close Dec. 10. Meanwhile, he expects to receive highly competitive bids for the ball park lighting project at the parish’s heavily used locations.

Romano added that work has begun at the Lemannville Park on trail lighting repairs.

The department recently put out a recreation survey, which he said provided valuable data. Fitness, fishing, and kayaking were among the most popular inquiries.

Recreation also plans to set volunteer clean-up dates for each park.

Later in the meeting, members of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Ascension class presented a proposal for a dog park planned for Prairieville.