GONZALES — Ascension Parish crews are taking stock of 65 miles of parish roads that officials are eyeing for a possible road striping project that could cost as much as $375,000 to complete.
Jason Taylor, parish public works engineer, said he has put together a list of parish collector roads — including Norwood, Cannon, Causey, Babin, Church Point and Germany roads — that feed traffic on state highways and other major roads in Ascension.
The proposed project would add center lane and road-side striping, improving traffic safety, he said.
Taylor said crews are taking traffic counts and assessing how drivers are using the roads.
He said the crews will also have to determine which roads are wide enough to be safely striped under federal highway and engineering standards.
Taylor said many of the roads now on the list are narrow and those that are too narrow would have to be widened first before they could be striped.
“If I were to put a center lane stripe down a road that is too narrow, it doesn’t allow enough room for two cars to go by one another,” Taylor cited as an example.
“It’s a safety precaution so people don’t run off the road or run into each other.”
Taylor said he is trying to have the road list refined for the next Parish Council Transportation Committee meeting in June.
At the request of Councilman Dempsey Lambert, committee chairman, Taylor presented a map of the initial list to the committee on May 13.
Based on the initial 65-mile list of roads, Taylor said that striping all of them would cost about $75,000 per year over five years, or about $375,000 overall.
“Well we have a starting point here. That’s what I was looking for,” Lambert said.
The thermoplastic striping typically lasts about five years in Ascension, Taylor said.
Parish President Tommy Martinez advocated doing the project and doing all the roads in one year.
“I think that if you ride down our roads, this really needs to be done, and I don’t know if you need to do it over a five-year period. I think we just need to bite the bullet and get it done now and then go on a maintenance program every year,” Martinez said.
He said the parish was hit hard by the past winter and by the amount of rain the parish has received.
“A lot of our roads don’t have any stripes, so I think that we need to go ahead and bite the bullet,” Martinez said.
The committee did not make a final decision May 13 about how to proceed, but Lambert said he would like to see the parish Engineering Department put something together for the June meeting.
Taylor said in an interview this month that if the council gives him the nod on a final list, the parish would seek bids for the work.