Livingston Parish road overlay priority list nearly completed

Livingston Parish’s road engineer said his team is nearly finished assessing the roads on the Parish Council’s wish list for overlay work and soon will have a priority list ready for officials to review.

Jim DeLaune, of Burk-Kleinpeter Inc., said Thursday the parish may be able to afford as much as 20 miles of the council’s 27-mile wish list if the price of overlay and repair work is roughly the same as it was in 2010, when the parish last had an overlay program.

That year, the parish spent about $3 million, or $171,000 per mile, to pave or repair 17.5 miles of parish roads, DeLaune said.

The 51 roads on the council’s list for 2014 must be prioritized in order to qualify for state funding from the Parish Transportation Fund Act. The state contributes about $1 million annually for road work in Livingston Parish through the act, DeLaune said.

The rest of the parish’s estimated $3.7 million in funding available for road work is generated by local taxes.

State and local funds cannot be mixed for the same overlay program unless the state’s stricter requirements for prioritizing roads are used for the entire project, DeLaune said.

Under state law, state road funding must be used on those roads with the “most critical needs,” DeLaune said. That could mean working on the most heavily traveled or those in the worst shape. The parish has some leeway in determining which needs are most critical, he said.

Drainage problems also will need to be addressed, or the same roads will be in repeated need of repair, he said.

DeLaune cautioned the council against trying to compare one mile of roadwork to another, noting that some roads will have to be ripped up and completely replaced while others may require only patchwork.

Follow Heidi R. Kinchen on Twitter @HeidiRKinchen.