The Montegudo and Odom families braved the cold temperatures Jan. 15 to attend the opening of a new bypass road that Zachary leaders built to eliminate congestion on Main Street between La. 19 and La. 64.
“It’s been a long process, but I have to commend the council for seeing the potential in this alternative connection and what it means for ensuring the safety of residents on our roadways and improving traffic flow,” Zachary Mayor David Amrhein said. “I learned to drive on this property. It holds some great memories for me.”
The road, less than a mile long, intersects with La. 19 on the west end north of the Family Dollar store and has been named Montegudo Boulevard, after the Montegudo family.
“Adolphus William ‘A.W.’ Montegudo, or ‘Daddy Dolph,’ as he was known to his grandchildren, was a fourth-generation Montegudo who farmed the tract of land that the bypass road runs through. He had five children with Victoria Delatte, who was killed in a train wreck, and then four children with his second wife, Emmie Black,” granddaughter Emily Montegudo Wascome said.
The nine Montegudo siblings were raised on the property, according to Katherine Montegudo Martin, a great-granddaughter of Adolphus and Emmie Montegudo.
A.W. Montegudo’s eldest living grandchild and the most senior of the Montegudo clan, Jackie Montegudo, spoke at the opening of the bypass.
“For so long people didn’t know how to spell our name ... now they’ll know,” said Jackie Montegudo.
Monty Montegudo Perkins, another granddaughter, said, “I think I speak for the entire Montegudo family when I say we feel very honored that the city would recognize us and our ancestors in this way. Few of us still live in the area, but we all still think of Zachary as our home.”
From La. 19, Montegudo Boulevard extends east, connecting drivers to the rear of Wal-Mart and continues south to intersect with La. 64 at McHugh Road.
Branching off of Montegudo Boulevard is Bob Odom Drive, which forks south to join Main Street between Raising Cane’s restaurant and Murphy USA gas and convenience store.
Bob Odom Drive was named after the late commissioner of agriculture, who was a longtime Zachary resident.
“I want to thank you for this tremendous honor to my husband today,” Millie Odom said.
Amrhein said Zachary owes a great debt of gratitude to Odom.
“Bob Odom was very instrumental in helping Zachary grow. He is the main reason we have the best high school lights in Bronco Stadium,” Amrhein said.
Amrhein said the bypass creates road frontage that he hopes will become a retail corridor.
“As we look to increase our tax base, we hope this new commercial corridor will continue to help Zachary grow,” Amrhein said.
The bypass cost about $4.5 million, Amrhein said.
State Rep. Dalton Honoré, District 63, attended the opening of the new bypass as well as Zachary City Council members Ben Cavin, Francis Nezianya, Brandon Noel and Tommy Womack.
Professional Engineering Consultants, Zachary’s city engineering firm, and Industrial Enterprises were responsible for the construction of the road, officials said.
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bypass, members of the Montegudo and Odom families were the first to drive on their namesake roadways.