Kenner officials broke ground Monday on landscaping improvements at Vintage Drive and Erlanger Road, the first of a series of beautification projects, known as the Kenner 2030 program, that draw from a $39 million pot of bond sale proceeds and federal matching funds.
Onshore Materials was the low bidder on the $830,216 project that calls for a variety of improvements along Erlanger between Vintage and Lake Pontchartrain, including a combination pedestrian/bike path with lighting, landscaping, public art and other amenities.
What is known as Power Boulevard south of Vintage becomes Erlanger north of Vintage.
The project is expected to take about nine months to complete.
It will be followed by eight more Kenner 2030 projects designed to beautify major corridors throughout the city at a total estimated cost of $39 million.
The city’s $24.5 million portion of the cost will be paid for with proceeds from an existing bond-issue tax, while $14.5 million is expected to come from federal matching funds.
Kenner 2030 was created in part by Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni’s Economic Development Committee in 2010 as a way to help attract young couples and new businesses to the city.
“I am so excited to preside over this first groundbreaking before my tenure as mayor ends,” said Yenni, who will be inaugurated as Jefferson Parish president Wednesday.
“This marks five years of planning and hard work and will add safety and beauty that both existing residents and those looking to choose a place to live will appreciate,” Yenni said.
The city earlier billed a $1 million August 2014 project that included a sculpture and lighted vertical sign saying “Laketown” as the first Kenner 2030 project, though it noted at the time that while that project’s goals aligned with those of Kenner 2030, it was funded by hotel-motel taxes and was not part of the bond-issue program.
The city said in a news release that the refinancing of an existing tax millage means Kenner residents will see no increase in their yearly tax bill to pay for the Kenner 2030 projects.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.