ZACHARY,LA(NBC33) — The Zachary City Council voted unanimously to consider taking over possession of certain state roads within the city limits. This is big news for the City of Zachary because they would be receiving almost 8 million dollars if they do decide to take them over.
"That what this is all about improving Zachary this is our first step to continue to improve," says Mayor David Amrhein of the City of Zachary. The state could hand over LA 64 to LA 964 to Plank road and the state portion of Old Baker Road and East Central Avenue, giving Zachary control over the speed on the roads, events, truck traffic and construction.
"And were just looking at different revenues to improve our infrastructure and this one that came to us and they are going to put the road back in good condition, supposedly we wont have to touch it for 20-25 years," says Amrhein.
"They are going to come in here and repair what's there so bring it up to a standard that's acceptable, before its turned over to us- that's a real big plus," says Chris Davezac who is the Director of Public Works in Zachary.
The city will then receive what’s called the "road transfer funds”, and in this case Zachary already has a big project lined up, what they're calling "Zachary Blvd”. Mayor Amrhein says, “Were tying to free up traffic here and make it a little bit more accessible past 19 at the red light, where Walmart is that little section of Zachary is 1/2 a mile 3/4 a mile make up about 55 percent of our sales tax base and its become more and more congested."
And residents say this is good news. "Traffic can be bad sometimes but I can see it getting worse overtime so it would be beneficial for them to fix it," says Ross Toney who lives in Zachary. Mayor Amrhein says this is the start of something bigger for the City of Zachary.
"We're looking forward to the next year and half to finish some of these projects and say hey we are progressive we are not reactive and we are proactive," says Amrhein. It would mean the main roads in a city with a growing traffic problem will now get the attention they need and that would help Zachary continue to flourish, without the headache.
The city hopes to start construction on the new four lane roadway "Zachary Blvd" by February or March of next year. The project could take up to two years, but the community is working with the city to make this project a reality as soon as possible.