Donaldsonville streets getting $2.03 million upgrade

City councilmen have moved forward on public transportation issues by awarding the contract for Donaldsonville’s annual citywide road improvement project.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to award the project to Gonzales firm R.J. Daigle and Sons, which offered a low bid of $2.03 million.

Glenn Shaheen of GSA Consulting Engineers, which handles the city’s engineering work, said the bid came in just below the initial estimate of $2.1 million.

The contractor’s base project bid, which includes road overlays and widening jobs for problem areas identified throughout the city, came in at $1.637 million, Shaheen said.

Alternate projects in the overall bid package included $376,390 for work on Rondino Lane and $26,400 for the addition of handicapped-accessible pedestrian ramps along Railroad Avenue.

The idea for the ramps came after discussions with Railroad Avenue business owners looking to better accommodate those with mobility issues who wish to take part in events such as the Avenue Evening Stroll, Shaheen said.

Provisions were made in the contract concerning times when crews could work on Railroad Avenue, Shaheen said, so as to affect traffic flow and businesses as little as possible.

“He’s got to give the businesses notice as to when he plans on shutting portions of the street down for work,” Shaheen added.

While city funds would go toward the project, additional funds for projects in low- to moderate-income areas might be obtained by applying for a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant, Shaheen said.

Work on the project should begin within the next 30 days, Shaheen said, after necessary paperwork is completed.

STATE APPROPRIATION: The council will vote at its March 26 meeting on whether to approve the spending schedule for a $200,000 state government appropriation.

Funds from the appropriation, collected from hotel/motel tax collections in Ascension Parish, are required to go toward projects and services related to culture and tourism in Donaldsonville.

The projects and services in line to share in the $200,000 include the River Road African American Museum, the Downtown Development District, Chamber of Commerce and its Louisiana Development Ready Communities Committee, the July 3 fireworks celebration, the city’s levee topping project, Christmas decorations, street lights and signs.

SAVE A LIFE: Fire Chief Chuck Montero said volunteers will meet at 8 am. Saturday at the Donaldsonville Municipal Building, 609 Railroad Ave., to take part in a citywide campaign to install free smoke detectors in residences lacking the devices.

Any resident may register online to receive one of the detectors by visiting the State Office of Fire Marshal’s website, http://www.lasfm.org, and clicking on the Operation Save a Life program icon.