AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council and administration have allocated $6.55 million on new road overlays and general improvements during the next 12 months.
Parish President Gordon Burgess told the council Monday that $2.75 million in supplemental road improvement funds accumulated in past years will be spent on roads already tagged by council members for overlay work during the first few months of the year. When that money is spent, Burgess said, the parish then will spend about $6.55 million on additional road improvements.
Burgess said the $6.55 million expenditure on parish thoroughfares will mark Phase 18 of the long-range road improvement plan that is funded by a 1-cent sales tax approved by parish voters years ago. Burgess has promoted a “pay as you go” plan for road work during his term as parish president. Each year, money spent on road improvements reflect the amount that the sales tax brings in that year.
Road improvements are done based on a priority list drawn up by the council. Burgess asked the councilmen to wait until the supplemental funds have been used for repaving before submitting lists for new road improvements.
In a related manner, Parish Engineer Maurice Jordan reported to the council that his office has reached a milestone in drawing up a thorough and comprehensive list of all parish roads and their conditions.
Jordan said his office is now finishing up a survey of all signage on parish roads and, when this task is complete, he will be able to present the council will a full report on the status of roadways under parish control.
Jordan’s study of parish roads is a pilot program being conducted under the Transportation Asset Management Program, part of the Local Technical Assistance Program co-sponsored by the state Department of Transportation and Development and L SU . Results of similar surveys across the state will assist in obtaining federal funds, Jordan said.
The report shows that Tangipahoa Parish has 824 miles of asphalt roads and 190 miles of gravel roads, Jordan said. Additionally, there are some concrete roads managed by the parish.
Jordan said the final report will break down the road system by the 10 council districts.
“This survey ...will give you an accurate, up-to-date look at the roads in your districts and will help to determine where future road improvements are needed,” he said.
Jordan said the improvement and maintenance of gravel roads remains a priority.
“We consider maintaining and trying to improve gravel roads regardless of traffic counts on those roads or the number of houses per mile,” Jordan said.
To complete the survey, Jordan said his crew drove every mile of parish roads and rated the quality of each road on a scale of 1 to 10 . He said that the final document should be ready and available to council members in a few months.