Road improvements begin on Austin Street

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The long-awaited $247,000 Austin Street Improvement Project began on Monday and is expected to be completed this week.

The project includes overlaying the road and striping. The project goes from the Austin Street bridge to the red light in front of Food Depot, or a total of 0.6 miles.

“We’ve been waiting for this project since February 2012, and it’s finally here,” Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said. “It’s one street down and many to go. We have the money to fix this street and we’ll work on the monies for other streets. There are very few grants for street overlay out there.”

The contractor for the project is Huey Stockstill LLC of Bay St. Louis, Miss. Professional Engineering Consultants Corp. of Baton Rouge is the engineer.

The original plan was to pave just over a block of Austin Street.

“Since I’ve been in office, we scrapped the original plan and decided to go with this plan,” Perrette said. “We had hoped it would have started in the spring, but due to all the rain we had the job was put off despite the money being set aside for the project.

“Then we thought the project was going to start in June, but we had another delay waiting on the contracting people.”

Perrette said drivers would immediately notice the difference.

“This will improve driving on the street and people will have an easier time while they do their shopping,” Perrette said. “It will help the businesses along Austin Street. They deserve a nice street in front of their offices. Austin Street is just one of many streets in the city that need to be fixed.”

The project began on Monday with crews smoothing and scraping out debris from the street.

The City of Bogalusa’s portion of the project is $150,000. The state paid for $98,000.

Perrette thanked citizens for their tolerance during the delays.

“I just want to thank the citizens for their patience,” Perrette said. “I apologize for not being able to get it done sooner, but we’re not going to go in the red doing it. Now, we’re getting more bang for our buck.”