Street being shut down as part of $8.4M project to renovate, expand Jennings water plant

Published 3:50 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

A portion of North Avenue will soon be permanently closed to traffic to allow for expansion of the city’s water plant.

The Jennings City Council this week moved to permanently close North Avenue between Church and State streets. The closure is expected to happen within the next two weeks.

Motorists will still be able to turn right onto North Avenue toward Cutting Avenue.

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Mayor Henry Guinn said the street will be shut down as part of an $8.8 million project to renovate and expand the water plant. The project will allow the city to double its water capacity.

“There is an essential need to close this road to through traffic,” he said. “The road will stay in place, but it will be gated and have a key card access for all our 18-wheeler and bulk deliveries to the water plant.”

Plans for the project call for demolition of the current administration building at the water plant. A million gallon above ground storage tank will be installed where the administration building is currently located.

New administrative offices and a new warehouse will be built on recently acquired property on the north side of North Street.

“It’s a great project for the city,” he said.

The project is expected to be let for bids within the next few months,  Guinn said.

 In other matters, the council unanimously voted to rezone property on the North Frontage Road from suburban to commercial for construction of a commercial truck dealership just north of Interstate 10.

The property, referred to as the Old River plot of the Sunshine Addition annex, includes about 17 acres just west of the Camelot Brookside retirement home and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Park.

“Old River dealership will be moving to the City of Jennings,” Guinn said. “I met with the CEO last week and they have submitted plans to our inspector’s office. They intend to break ground within the next 2-3 months, so we are excited and happy to welcome them to the City of Jennings.”

Old River Truck Sales plan to build a commercial truck dealership specializing in sales, parts and service of Mack, Volvo and other brands of heavy trucks and trailers on property located 3346 N. Frontage Road.

The truck dealership is the second business to announce plans to locate on the North Service Road this year.

In May, the city annexed 10 acres of rice fields on the North Service Road for Sunshine Equipment to relocate its John Deere dealership from Welsh and build a new $7.5 million dealership and service center in Jennings.

Construction of the 28,750-square-foot facility is underway. It is expected to be completed by March 2024.