A section of La. 44 that runs through the center of Gonzales as South Burnside Avenue could become a city street in the future — and the state funds no longer needed to maintain it would go toward another city road project.

City Engineer Jackie Baumann told the City Council on Monday that the road transfer credit program is a fairly new initiative being offered by the state Department of Transportation and Development.

Gonzales would assume ownership of a section of South Burnside Avenue from Cornerview to New River streets through the oldest part of the city.

While the state would continue maintenance at the traffic lights at those two intersections on South Burnside Avenue, once the section belongs to Gonzales, the city would take over the maintenance of the traffic lights at three intersections between Cornerview and New River streets as well as maintenance and repairs of the new section of city street.

Approximately $1.39 million, which is the value of the road transfer, would be provided by DOTD in a one-time payment toward another project in Gonzales.

“The DOTD would put that toward improving La. 44 between I-10 and Loosemore Road,” Baumann said.

That section of the state highway south of Interstate 10 is heavily traveled and will be seeing more traffic in the future when Conway Plantation, a planned mixed-use development, gets underway.

The Gonzales City Council signed a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement with the DOTD.

Before that happens, a federally funded pavement improvement project, now in the design phase, is expected to be completed on South Burnside Avenue next year, Baumann said.