High bid puts road project on hold

Council will rebid after cost of PVC pipe comes down

PVC Sewer PipeCreative Commons

The bumpy stretch of Enterprise Boulevard between Broad Street and 12th Street will have to wait to see improvements because project bids for the road came in about 25 percent over budget and were rejected by the Lake Charles City Council on Wednesday.

Changes would include repaving and fixing ongoing drainage issues on the four-lane road, which the city plans to extend in the future so that it connects with U.S. 171, adding more traffic to the already busy area.

The project was budgeted at around $900,000, and bids came in well over a million — too high a difference to look past, according to city Planning Director Mike Huber.

{{tncms-inline content=”<p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">Mary Morris has said that the city owes it to voters who approved the 2006 bond issue to follow through on plans to make Enterprise the economic corridor of north Lake Charles.</span></strong></p>” id=”b84bae7d-9c88-4735-9d11-68cea472b401″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote” type=”relcontent”}}

The reason for the cost hike has to do with a rise in PVC pipe prices after Hurricane Harvey, Huber said. He told the council the plan is to rebid within the next couple of months after costs have time to normalize.

Councilwoman Luvertha August of District B voiced concern about postponing work on the street, which hasn’t seen significant improvement in years.

Huber responded that the city considers Enterprise work a priority; it just can’t pay for it at a bloated price in good conscience.

“We want to make this happen,” Huber said, adding that bringing it back to bid will result in a relatively short delay. “I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Mayor Nic Hunter told August the city views improving Enterprise as a “need” and has high hopes for the future of the road. A study is underway by consulting firm CSRS to find ways to enhance the Interstate 10 corridor, including the northern leg of Enterprise.

Council members in March approved spending $360,000 on engineering services for improving Fitzenreiter Road, a thruway that cars could use to get from Enterprise to U.S. 171 if and when Enterprise extension plans get off the ground.

It was the second time the item came before the council for approval after failing to find support from members earlier that year.

Also this year, the council voted down councilwoman Mary Morris’ attempt to secure approval of a $400,000 environmental assessment needed to apply for federal funding to finish extending Enterprise. That’s when she shifted her attention to Fitzenreiter. 

Morris has said the city owes it to voters who approved the 2006 bond issue to follow through on plans to make Enterprise the economic corridor of north Lake Charles.

Mary Morris has said that the city owes it to voters who approved the 2006 bond issue to follow through on plans to make Enterprise the economic corridor of north Lake Charles.

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