One of the main thoroughfares in St. Charles Parish through the years is due for an overhaul, thank goodness.
It used to be that if you were going anywhere on the West Bank, you would use Paul Maillard Road. At one time it was part of U. S. 90, leading the highway that was the main route to travel along the coast of Louisiana to River Road. There, one caught the ferry to the East Bank of the Mississippi River and the rest of coastal Louisiana.
The 2.6-mile roadway goes through the medical center of the parish where St. Charles Hospital and other health-giving facilities are located. They need better access than they have at present.
Ditches line much of the route of the narrow two-lane roadway that crosses at ground level two fairly busy railroad tracks, which unfortunately will have to remain there. But the roadway itself can be greatly improved.
It needs some widening, ditches should be covered and sidewalks should be provided along the entire route for the many people who walk there. In addition to blighted houses along the route, it passes through an area with one of the highest crime rates in the parish.
Many of the businesses along Paul Maillard Road have closed, but improvement in the road could bring some of them back - especially since it attracts many people to the medical facilities there.
Officials are expecting some $600,000 in federal and parish grants to finance planning of the improvements. Hopefully, actual work on it will not be far behind to help make St. Charles an even greater parish in which to enjoy the future.