ZACHARY — City and city-parish officials plan to go door-to-door in the coming weeks to obtain landowners’ cooperation in a project to widen narrow, accident-plagued, McHost Road.
McHost Road — often written as MacHost Road — runs about 2.8 miles between La. 64 and Pride-Port Hudson Road. It lacks shoulders and has several sharp curves. In some places, trees stand near the pavement.
It also floods after heavy rains or when nearby White’s Bayou backs up.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden and Zachary Mayor David Amrhein announced Monday that the city-parish and Zachary will contribute more than $1 million each for the $2.4 million that engineers estimate will be needed to improve the road.
Noting the accidents that have killed or injured several people on the road in recent years, Holden said, “This is a bitter-sweet day.”
“Finally, God gave us a way to come together; to take a danger zone and make it a safety zone,” Holden said.
Amrhein said Metro Councilman Trae Welch worked hard to obtain the city-parish’s contribution to the project, which will include some money from city-parish drainage funds.
Zachary’s city engineer, Bianca Carambat, of Professional Engineering Consultants, said engineering work already has been done for the project, which will widen the road from its current two 9.5-foot travel lanes to two 11.5-foot lanes and 4-foot shoulders on both sides.
The project will lessen the curves, but not eliminate them entirely, Carambat said.
“We can’t straighten them all completely,” she said.
Zachary will take over maintenance of the road when the pro-ject is complete, Amrhein and Welch said.
Zachary City Attorney John Hopewell said he and Welch plan to walk the road to talk to adjacent property owners to discuss donations of perpetual, 10-foot servitudes needed for the improvements.
If property owners are not willing to give the servitudes, city-parish officials will work with Zachary to obtain rights of way through legal proceedings, Hopewell said.
Welch and Zachary Councilman Tommy Womack said the road improvements also will improve police and fire department response times along the road.