Gonzales City Council gets update on roundabouts

Scott J. Anderson
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Gonzales City Council got an update from State Rep. Ken Brass and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development on plans for traffic roundabouts on Hwy. 30 at Interstate 10 near Tanger Outlet Mall at its meeting Monday night.

State Rep. Ken Brass updates the Gonzales City Council on plans for a series of traffic roundabouts on Hwy. 30 at I-10 and St. Landry Road.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development determined the roundabouts were needed to improve mobility and safety through the corridor. DOTD's feasibility study determined that roundabouts would be the most effective way to reduce conflict points and calm traffic while having the least impact on area businesses.

This first phase of the project will include three roundabouts -- at the eastbound and westbound ramps and St. Landry Road along Hwy. 30.

Joshua Harrouch, traffic engineering development administrator and project manager, said the current estimate for the cost of the project is $14.2 million. This phase of the project was selected for design and construction using Access Management Funds. The Access Management Programs provides $10 million annually for designated projects, he said.

Harrouch said bidding was slated for February 2022.

The council also received an update from Kate McArthur with the Ascension Economic Develoment Corporation. She explained that COVID-19 did present challenges for recruiting and retaining businesses, but the parish did see many positive results in 2020. Among the highlights was AEDC's efforts to assist businesses with sharing information and managing the Payroll Protection Program loans.

She told the council that the parish lost one major employer with 302 jobs due to COVID-19. She said nine new projects in the parish were delayed in 2020 due to pandemic conditions.

McArthur said the AEDC celebrated some good news in 2020, too. Businesses announced 69 new jobs and $1.3 billion in new investments in the parish in 2020.

In other business:

The council approved the reallocation of $50,000 from the Streets Capital Outlay to Recreation Capital Outlay. The excess funds for streets will be reallocation to improve city basketball courts.

Councilmen approved Mayor Barney Arceneaux and the administration's recommendation to sign a five-year contract with Waste Pro for waste disposal services.

The council approved reallocating $100,000 in funds from the Water Capital Outlay to the Gas Capital Outlay.