Calcasieu Police Jury OKs contracts for road projects

A Calcasieu Parish Police Jury committee approved several engineering contracts related to expanding intersections at several state routes and reducing traffic congestion.

The contracts, approved by the parish Public Works Committee on Thursday, are part of the Calcasieu Parish Transportation Initiative. They await approval by the full Police Jury.

The full initiative includes five road expansion projects, totaling $174.1 million. They will be funded using some parish-level and federal dollars. 

The effort was created because of a lack of state and federal-level funding. Parish Engineer Tim Conner said using parish money to partly fund the projects will help streamline the process.

One approved contract includes Stantec Consulting Services for improvements at the intersection of La. 384 at Ihles Road.

Three contracts were approved for improvements at intersections along La. 27. They include Meyer and Associates for work on the intersection of La. 27 and High Hope Road; Aucoin and Associates at the Dave Dugas Road intersection; and C.H. Fenstermaker and Associates, LLC for the Houston River Road intersection.

Two contracts were awarded for work on intersections along La. 1256. They include Lancon Engineers for the Walker Road intersection and Neel-Schaffer for the Carlyss Drive intersection.

Conner said the improvements will allow more traffic to travel through the intersections. Several police jurors spoke about the traffic problems at different intersections during peak hours.

“That’s where the bottleneck typically happens,” Conner said. “That’s where we want to put our money. It is a priority.”

Conner said the contracted firms will do “the heart of the design work” on the projects.

The Police Jury last April approved hiring the Baton Rouge-based firm CSRS to help manage the plan during the engineering and construction phases.

Two more projects are part of the initiative, but were not on Thursday’s agenda. They include widening a section of U.S. 171 from Broad Street north to Wal-Mart and installing improved traffic signals; and improving the connection from Westlake to Moss Bluff along La. 378.

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