Why now? Ormond Blvd. repaving raises frustration

Main detour route for Hale Boggs bridge will hold up traffic with work

Repaving Ormond Boulevard in Destrehan will begin April 12, but motorists could find the traffic hectic with this project and the upgrade of Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge underway at the same time.

District 3 Councilman Dick Gibbs asked for residents’ cooperation and understanding during the work.

“While we may be inconvenienced during the repaving of Ormond Boulevard, this project is necessary and will benefit all that use it on a regular basis,” Gibbs said.

Councilwoman at-Large Wendy Benedetto encouraged residents to take advantage of the walking path at the renovated Ormond Community Park while the repaving takes place.

According to Tristan Babin, the parish’s interim public information officer, it was an issue of timing.

“Unfortunately, the repaving of Ormond Boulevard was advertised before the dates of the bridge overlay were announced by DOTD (state Department of Transportation and Development). Although it is inconvenient, we do not anticipate an entire road closure at this time. Ormond Boulevard was not listed as the alternate route for the bridge work (Almedia Road was).”

Projected to cost $1.6 million, repaving work on the heavily traffic boulevard is expected to take nearly three months to complete. A state Department of Transportation and Development map shows estimated traffic on the road rose from 8,958 vehicles a day in 1985 to 17,561 in 2008.

Barriere Construction Co., the contractor for the project, will begin work by removing striping and symbols for the bicycle lane from River Road to Canadian National Railway, which will be used to divert traffic during construction.

The contractor will begin replacing concrete spans in the area between River Road and the railroad, which require diverting traffic. Work is expected to continue through May.In June, Barriere Construction will patch the remaining section of the boulevard from Canadian National Railway to Airline Highway. The bicycle path will be closed as traffic is diverted around work crews.

From Kansas City Southern to Airline Highway, the road will be prepped for pavement at night to avoid traffic congestion.

In July, striping will begin on the entire boulevard. Road width will be reduced from 15 feet to 11 feet to discourage speeding and allow enlarging the bicycle path to 8-1/2 feet with a four-foot striped buffer.

Once striping is done, two lanes at the entrance of Ormond Boulevard at River Road will be reduced to one entrance and and the bike path extended for better access.


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