Vehicles will continue to flow on the boulevard during the project
After a deluge of complaints about the parish resurfacing Ormond Boulevard at the same time the state is upgrading Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge, parish officials have clarified the project should not stop traffic on the heavily used road.
Senior Public Works Engineer Lee Zeringue said work will begin on concrete panels for the repaving project on Monday (April 18), a week later than planned.
The contractor, Barriere Construction, will place signs and barricades to designate the work area.
“The road is wide enough to divert traffic to one side or the other,” Zeringue said of avoiding any lane closures during the three-month project. “There is no intention to close either of the lanes fully. There really should not be any traffic problems as long as people adhere to the speed limit.”
Ormond Boulevard became much busier after state work started on the $24 million bridge upgrade in February and vehicles used the road as a detour while lanes were closed on the bridge to make way for crews for the six-month project.
Almedia Road or Highway 50 was the intended detour for this traffic.
This week, the bridge lanes changed for traffic flow and work.
As announced, once the first phase of resurfacing work was completed, all traffic was switched to what has been the northbound side. The ramp from Louisiana 18 (the West Bank River Road) heading north to the bridge will be closed. The northbound ramp from the bridge to Louisiana 48 (East Bank River Road) also will be closed.
To address public concerns about the repaving project, Parish Council President Wendy Benedetto met with parish officials and clarified the boulevard would remain open to traffic.
Benedetto said she wanted a traffic contingency plan in place should traffic congestion occur on the boulevard, which averages more than 15,000 vehicles a day. She wants to ensure traffic doesn’t enter residential areas to avoid traffic.
“It will be well worth the project in the end, but it’ll take some patience from our residents,” she said.
Tristan Babin, the parish’s interim public information officer, said the project was advertised for bids before the state announced bridge work dates.