Ascension Master Plan presented at Gonzales Civic Center

Darian Graivshark
The Master Plan meeting held at the Gonzales Civic Center.

Ascension’s Master Plan was unveiled on Tuesday, April 30 at the Gonzales Civic Center.

One thing the Master Plan focuses on is retaining, and expanding, the green infrastructure in Ascension, as well as the support of a robust park and trail system.

Natural systems are among the many other environmentally friendly features they want to focus on. An integrated set of natural systems will provide environmental benefits, for example, flood management, water quality, and improved air quality.

Using these natural assets will support active lifestyles of parish residents, and it will contribute to the health of the residents. Trails along the rivers, or bayous, will increase recreational opportunities, too.

Airline Highway will evolve into a 21st century Main Street with mixed use developments and commercial centers. Intersections along the East and West Banks will offer important prospects for neighborhood services.

The balance of development and economic activity between the East and West Bank will be improved. Thus, improving growth on the West Bank and Historic Donaldsonville. West Bank residents can expect to see improved retail options and services within the next few years.

There is currently only one boat launch in the City of Donaldsonville. The city is in the process of creating a Bayou Lafourche Park Development that will include bayou access and other amenities.

In 2011, Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District completed a dredging project that increased water flow nearly six miles of Bayou Lafourche between Donaldsonville and Belle Rose. The project will remove vegetation and sediment in the 8.3 miles between Belle Rose and Napoleonville.

Ascension Parish is expected to grow by more than 87,000 residents by the year 2042. It is also expected to experience an increase of 86,000 new employees by 2042.

Then, of course, congestion worries on the roads needed to be addressed. Ascension is in the top one-third for the most crashes in the state. Congestion contributes to environmental impacts such as noise, water quality, and air quality. It can negatively impact economic growth. This costs regional businesses, industries, and commuters millions of dollars annually.

There are more than 20 goals and strategies, though, pertaining to drainage and flooding in the Ascension Master Plan. A few of those include providing information and training on how to reduce contaminants getting into the water systems, providing information on maintaining ditches in your front yard, considering requiring houses in Rural Residential developments to be built on piers, and promoting the use of rain gardens, rooftop gardens, and other innovative stormwater techniques.

The full public review draft of the Ascension Parish Master Plan is online now at Printed copies will be available at Ascension Parish Government Complex, 615 E. Worthy Road in Gonzales, and all four branches of Ascension Parish Libraries.

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