BROUSSARD — City Engineer Al Reaux updated the Broussard City Council on Monday about future plans to improve La. 182-Main Street from the U.S. 90 overpass through town.
Reaux said the state was planning to do the projects in two separate phases. The first phase, a stretch of about 2 miles from the overpass to the railroad tracks at La. 731, should be completed at a cost of about $1 million in 2013-14.
The next year, the Department of Transportation and Development would complete the remaining portion through the city at a cost of $2.2 million.
But Mayor Charles Langlinais and the council are also interested in expanding Main Street to three lanes through town to alleviate traffic in peak driving hours.
When asked about the possibility, Reaux said DOTD only agreed to look into the issue.
“DOTD said they take these instances on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “They said they would first need to complete a traffic study. We hope to have this done downtown, but before we do anything, they have to study it.”
Councilman Kenny Higginbotham said there was no time to delay in addressing the matter because of the problems the damaged two-lane highway was causing in the city.
“We need to speed this up,” he said. “People tell me they avoid Main Street when they come through Broussard because of the condition of the road. Even after all the roads we’ve done, we take a step back with Main Street, and it is what people see when they come to Broussard.”
At this point, Langlinais said he felt the best way to fund the project quickly was to try to have the DOTD shift the $1 million in funding for the first stretch of road outside the city to the Main Street project through town.
“I feel we can get our delegation in Baton Rouge to support us,” he said. “That would be the best way to do it if we can convince DOTD to allow us to address downtown first.”
He then directed Reaux to present the plan to DOTD and report back when it responded.