With funding and plans in hand, work is expected to start soon on completing the levee bike path system on both sides of the Mississippi River, said St. Charles Parish spokeswoman Renee Simpson.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation (DOTD) recently approved funding for last two phases of the West Bank Levee Multi-Use Path, according to St. Charles Parish grants officer Holly Fonseca.
Some $816,000 was approved for Phase IV that will extend from Elm Street in Hahnville to La. 3142 in Taft. Some $1.2 million was approved for Phase V that will continue the path to the St. Charles – St. John parish line. Funding for both will come from the DOTD’s Alternatives Program for 2014-16.
The cost share on the two upcoming phases on the West Bank will be funded 80-20 with the parish picking up 20 percent of the costs and the DOTD program picking up 80 percent.
The DOTD is considering plans for the East Bank walkway Phase IV and, once finalized, bids on the project could be taken by late 2015.
Although funding was approved as early as 2011 on the phases, Simpson said plans are now in the works.
Seeking funds and funding cuts stalled the project’s completion for years, but Simpson said work may soon be under way to complete the path system.
Walkers, bikers and joggers were able to travel from New Sarpy to the Bonnet Carre Spillway on a new paved path with the completed East Bank Multi-Use Mississippi Levee path.
The nearly $1 million project was subsidized with grant funds.
Parish President V.J. St. Pierre called the levee bike system on the East Bank shows “the commitment of state and parish leaders, over many years, to provide more recreation and transportation opportunities in our area.