Roundabouts to be joint project of state, Gonzales

Location of proposed roundabouts
Location of proposed roundabouts

— City and state highway officials have agreed how to divvy up paying for and handling other responsibilities for roundabouts proposed in the La. 30/Interstate 10 corridor near Tanger Outlet Center, officials said.

The agreement calls for 100 percent federal funding through the state Department of Transportation and Development for most project phases, including environmental, utility relocation and construction.

Construction alone is expected to cost $7.5 million to $10 million, said Dustin Annison, DOTD spokesman.

Roundabouts are circular, continuous flow intersections with a central island and without traffic lights. State and federal highway officials say roundabouts improve safety and traffic flow.

Chief City Engineer Jackie Baumann said this week the project is in a two-year design phase where plans on finer points will be worked out.

“Those plans, we didn’t want to start until we had a signed agreement, and that’s when all the details get figured out,” she said.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux signed the agreement Sept. 25 after City Council backing two days earlier, Baumann said.

Under the agreement, the city will spend $1.4 million for preconstruction engineering, design and surveying, Annison said.

He said DOTD would pay for rights of way, estimated at nearly $500,000, but the city would have to reimburse the state.

Bids are not expected to be accepted until January 2016 under current timetables.

City officials plan a public meeting on the roundabouts Oct. 21 at the Cabela’s meeting room. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting.

Unlike early concepts, the project would add three multilane roundabouts: at the on- and off-ramps on either side of the La. 30/I-10 interchange and at the intersection of La. 30 and South Landry and Robert Wilson roads.

The intersection of La. 30 and Tanger Boulevard and Cabela’s Parkway would not have a roundabout but would have right turns only at La. 30. Left turns would be blocked by a raised median.

Under the agreement, the city also would be responsible for optional sidewalks, bike lanes and other aesthetic improvements and right-of-way for them.