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|Parish puts final touches on stimulus funding request|
Ouachita Parish could be ready to submit plans within a few weeks for the projects it wants funded through the federal economic stimulus package.
Parish engineer Don Harrison made the announcement Monday during the Ouachita Parish Police Jury's regular meeting.
There are 10 streets the parish has identified that could be improved with funding from the economic stimulus bill.
Funding from the economic stimulus bill for infrastructure projects will be directed to the state Department of Transportation and Development. DOTD will distribute the funds to each of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations throughout the state. The local MPO is the Ouachita Council of Governments.
The Ouachita Council of Governments last month agreed to split $9.6 million from the stimulus package among the police jury and cities of Monroe and West Monroe.
OCOG is comprised of members from the parish and both cities.
Of that amount, West Monroe will receive $3.2 million, Monroe will get $3.1 million and the police jury will receive $3.2 million.
In the parish, the money would be used for five street improvement projects. These projects include work along Good Hope Road, a portion of Dellwood Drive, Louisiana Avenue, Vancil Road and Hadley Street.
All three public entities have identified backup projects that could be tackled if additional money is allocated to OCOG or if any projects approved for funding fall through.
The police jury selected five additional streets as its backup projects. These include improvements along a second portion of Dellwood Drive, Green Road, Laird Street, and two segments of Caples Road for its backup projects. Those projects total $7.1 million.
Harrison said the parish is roughly 80 percent complete with all plans for the street improvement projects.
The parish is expected to submit preliminary plans on these projects by June 16, Harrison said.
"We should be well ahead of the schedule on those, so everything is moving well and falling in place for these stimulus projects," Harrison said.
In the meantime, Harrison said the police jury has learned the state will provide stimulus funding for two bridge projects in the parish.
"Under the state DOTD portion of the highway stimulus funding, Ouachita Parish will receive funding for two bridge projects," Harrison said.
These two bridge projects are Sam Head Road Bridge over Bogalusa Creek and Caples Road Bridge over Longs Creek.
The Sam Head Road Bridge has an estimated construction cost of roughly $316,000. The Caples Road Bridge project is expected to cost about $478,000.
Both bridge projects are located in police juror Mack Calhoun's district in western Ouachita Parish.