[Editor's Note: The City-Parish Council on Tuesday voted to declare the Kaliste Saloom Road widening project a public necessity.]
Although completion of the widening of Kaliste Saloom Road between Ambassador Caffery Parkway and E. Broussard Road is four to five years away, the process of negotiating with landowners to acquire rights of way will begin soon, pending a vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday evening by the City-Parish Council. The CPC voted unanimously on the ordinance in introduction on Aug. 3.
Ordinance 180 declares the project a public necessity, giving Lafayette Consolidated Government clearance to negotiate purchase of rights of way or acquisition through expropriation.
Public Works Director Tom Carroll says the preliminary plan for the road is a five-lane — four traffic lanes with a continuous center turn lane. However, Carroll adds that planners are considering incorporating a boulevard design in stretches of Kaliste Saloom. “We have had some internal meetings recently where we’re looking at the potential — not necessarily to change the design — but actually see if there were some areas where we could incorporate a grass median and still have all the access they had with our so-called five-lane.”
The project is expected to cost $23 million to $25 million, according to Carroll, who adds that the boulevard design shouldn’t affect the cost — the median would be the same width as the turn lane — but would make the road more safe and efficient. “It may not be as convenient where you can make turns anywhere when you have that center turn lane, but it is a safer roadway and it is a more efficient roadway.” Carroll adds. “You have opportunities to control access to where you can make it more efficient, and you do have opportunities to provide some esthetics where you can have some landscaping in the middle.”
To view the Kaliste Saloom widening ordinance, click here.
Also up for final adoption Tuesday is an ordinance, 186, that authorizes LCG to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the state — and to accept $1 million in state funding — for the construction of an infrastructure including pipelines and fueling stations for vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. City-parish government is looking to purchase some CNG vehicles, which are more cost effective and emit fewer greenhouse emissions than gasoline or diesel, for its fleet.
The CPC meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council auditorium.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 12 Until recently, it seemed like NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu was going to skate to re-election. But John Maginnis writes in this post that he may face some unexpected opposition, from Michael Bagneris, who currently serves as a civil court judge for the city. The judge isn't saying he's thinking about it, because then he would have to step down, but let's just say Maginnis won't be surprised if Bagneris turns up to qualify for the job.
DEC 12 Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has dumped the RSC's director, this post on Politico tells us. The director, Paul Teller, is accused of leaking conversations with lawmakers, the post says, and "actively working against" strategies that committee members had come up with. Hmmmm....
DEC 12 Jeremy Alford gives us the latest on David Duke in this LaPolitics post. Duke is back in the headlines because he was expelled from Italy recently, accused of trying to start a Neo-Nazi group there. Alford's pulled some interesting bits from the recent media coverage and some older pieces as well about this state embarrassment.
DEC 12 So Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the nation, we've known that for a while. But this Picayune story tells us about a new report by Human Rights Watch that says our laws and law enforcement practices are to blame. Those practices impact two routes to infection: unprotected sex and shared needles, the story says.
DEC 12 Jim Brown blogs about a book, "Dumbest Generation," and bemoans our inability to attain a more positive adjective. Jim wants to know: with our constant, unfettered access to information, why aren't we greater? He may be answering the question himself, urging more focus on community service and less on self-enrichment.
DEC 12 Here's an interesting post from DIG Baton Rouge about the proposed City of St. George in Baton Rouge. This piece focuses on the school district the organizers want to create. They're confident they won't need to raise taxes (because, of course, they'll be grabbing huge chunks of tax dollars -- or at least they think so) to build new schools, the story says.
DEC 12 After weeks of "political gimmicks" aimed at trying to force a vote on something most people really don't understand, Sen. David Vitter has decided he will do exactly what Sen. Mary Landrieu already has done for his own Congressional health insurance, the Advocate reports here. Senate leaders offered him a vote, but he didn't want it -- some say because he hadn't milked all the political juice out of this alleged issue yet.
DEC 12 The fact that "amateurs" are running the education system in Louisiana is hurting our children, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. In support of his argument, he goes through the recent vote on Common Core in Baton Rouge, and explains what the data showed. It's not a pretty picture.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly