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Move Ascension

More than a year and a half into Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa's administration, the parish's major road program, Move Ascension, is starting to move along a bit.

The $35 million program is an effort by the parish to start addressing infrastructure demands in the face of a voting base that's been historically reluctant to approve new taxes.

The Move Ascension program is funded from a combination of sources — revenue from a new bond issue, road impact fees, federal dollars and parish sales tax surplus — and is in addition to ongoing road maintenance and overlay work. 

Engineering is now underway and land is being purchased for the first Move Ascension "immediate action" projects set to go out for bid in December 2018. 

While it will be awhile before new roads get built through the Move Ascension program, the parish has launched a new website designed to keep the public updated on the progress of the road program.

Brandon O'Deay, Ascension's IT manager, previewed the new website Tuesday night to the plaudits of Parish Council members. The website, www.moveascension.com, was developed by O'Deay's department. 

"Move Ascension is the most exciting and needed transportation initiative in many years," Matassa said in a statement about the site's unveiling. "With this website, everyone can follow its progress and look for any updates and additions."

The website features a parishwide map that shows different projects under the program. The seven projects in the first phase are funded through construction. Projects for the next phase, which are expected to get funding through pre-construction phases in hopes of later matching dollars, are yet to be approved by the full council.  

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.