Good news for residents in St. Landry Parish, some roads, in terrible condition for years, will soon see improvements. Earlier in the year, we told you about the new sales tax that St. Landry voters approved to pay for the upcoming road project.
Now road construction could be starting as soon as next month according to Parish President Bill Fontenot. “For the first time in the history of the parish, roads are being improved,” said Fontenot. Fontenot said there are many roads on the list to be paved. “By next summer we should have $60 to $65 million worth of construction. This program that the voters voted upon will be implemented within the next year. All that paving will take two and a half to three years,” said Fontenot. Fontenot said about 700 out of 800 roads in the parish are in terrible condition and need work immediately.
He adds two contracts for different parts of the project will go up for bid next week.
“Now we’re implementing that program and have two contracts that will be bid on. One will be open July 29th the other, August 5th,” said Fontenot.
He expects the first contract project to be under construction by late August and the second by sometime in September. Fontenot said this program wouldn’t have been possible without the community’s help.
“We never would have been able to do this had it not been for the voters. The people of the parish in the rural areas voted to tax themselves two pennies sales tax dedicated to just roads,” said Fontenot.
According to Fontenot, this sales tax will be implemented for the next 15 years, allowing the parish to bond out $65 million for work immediately and generate a surplus.
One St. Landry resident, John Collins, said this project has been a long time coming.
“It needed to be done years ago and it’s finally good to hear that somebody stepped up to the plate to blacktop the road,” said Collins.
Fontenot said he’s proud of the road project and looks forward to the end result for the parish.
He also added that he hopes by the end of the 15 year sales tax, 75 to 80 percent of the roads in the parish will have improved tremendously.