Plans also include walking, biking trail
Monsanto has donated $450,000 along with 11.6 acres of land to St. Charles Parish for the development of a walking and biking trail and linear recreation park in the Paul Maillard Road community.
The trail is expected to open by late 2019.
“Monsanto has more than 60 years of history in Luling,” said Enrique Wehlen, Luling Plant Manager. “We’re in the midst of a $975 million capital expansion at the site and this donation is another way we can give back to the community where we live and work.”
Monsanto, with more than 700 employees at the site, donated more than $200,000 to local organizations in 2017 and its employees have volunteered more than 8,000 hours in the community.
“Paul Maillard has always been a vital corridor in St. Charles Parish and moving forward will continue to play an integral role in bringing revitalization to St. Charles Parish,” said St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran. “I would like to thank Monsanto for being a great community partner.”
Reanda Pierre, chair of the Paul Maillard Community Development Corp., called the land donation an essential component to the revitalization of Paul Maillard Road.
Pierre said it will provide a safe pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, which is one of the main concerns the Paul Maillard Community Development Corp. sought to address.
“Monsanto has been a partner from the beginning, and we are grateful for their commitment to this community,” she said.
Pierre said it’s the organization’s desire that the community would stay engaged.
“Though a lot of the current ground work is taking place behind the scenes, we hope to see construction begin next year,” she said.
Pierre said the investment into the linear park could serve as a model and spark other developments along the road.
“Until then, we hope the entire St. Charles Parish community will utilize the linear park once complete for generations to come,” she added.
In August, the Paul Maillard Road Corridor Revitalization project that will include this work got Council approval, and St. Charles Parish announced Monsanto has become a strong partner in helping make it happen.
Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux, the parish’s Public Works director, said the project coming together signals a major upgrade for Luling with improved drainage, sidewalks, a multi-use path and a park.
Faucheux said Evans-Graves Engineers was awarded the first of three phases with the long-anticipated project at the council’s July 31 meeting. Estimated at $3.5 million, Phase I calls for redesigning the corridor, based on the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) “complete streets” approach.
All open ditch drainage will be covered to make way for roadway upgrades, landscaping and the construction of a 10-foot wide multi-use path and/or pedestrian sidewalk.
Total project cost is estimated at $9.2 million.