Due to the outpour of support from residents in Ama, the state Department of Transportation and Development will soon go out for bids on a 3.29 mile bike path that will extend from Davis Drive in Luling through Ama to the Jefferson Parish line.
DOTD administrator Mike Stack told St. Charles Parish Chief Administrative Officer Tim Vial that he was impressed by how many residents turned up for a town hall meeting on the levee path, which led the state to move up the bid date on the project from March 2012 to December.
“(When he walked in) He wondered what else was on the agenda, because he has town hall meetings for the interstate projects that don’t invoke that much interest,” Vial said. “Of course the only item on the agenda was the bike path. The large turnout definitely had an effect on him.”
The estimated cost of the bike path is $1 million and the state will fund 95 percent of the project. The parish will fund the remaining 5 percent. The path, which will make it possible for both runners and walkers to traverse the levee, will also consist of two ramps - one at St. Mark Catholic Church in Ama and another at Ellen Street, according to Councilman Shelly Tastet.
“This is going to be great for the community of Ama and has been something they have been waiting on for a long time,” Tastet, who represents the Ama area, said. “I’m thrilled to see this project become a reality.”
State Rep. Gary Smith said the efforts of the Ama community really helped bolster the project.
“I want to thank all of the Ama residents who attended the town hall meeting on Aug. 23,” he said. “DOTD heard your plea directly and it had a positive impact.”
Work was completed last year on a paved path from Elm Street in Hahnville to Davis Drive in Luling. The project cost a little more than $1.3 million. When the new paved section is complete, residents will be able to bike, walk or jog 7.1 miles from Hahnville to Jefferson Parish.