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Traffic moves along College Drive at I-10. MovEBR sales tax collection begins on April 1 with syncing traffic lights likely to be the first thing for which the city-parish will use the tax money Friday March 29, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome unveiled an interactive website Monday detailing more than 70 infrastructure projects the city-parish will tackle through its road improvements plan. 

The website — movebr.brla.gov — will also host information on the prioritization of the projects when that information is released in mid-October.

It's the latest step forward for Broome's nearly $1 billion MovEBR infrastructure enhancement and traffic mitigation plan. Voters overwhelmingly approved a 30-year, half-cent sales tax increase last December to fund the initiative. 

Several officials at the "kick-off" event stressed the program's focus on empowering small businesses and businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans. That includes training and mentoring programs as well as contracting opportunities. 

"We're investing in people as well as concrete," Broome said. 

An emphasis on community engagement also pervaded the event. The initiative's website allows users to subscribe to receive updates on announcements and events, and officials promised that projects won't be built without having a community meeting first. 

"We want the input from the people because guess what: you're paying for it," said Fred Raiford, director of the city-parish's Department of Transportation and Drainage.

The MovEBR project list includes widening and adding capacity to Hooper Road, Old Hammond Highway, Perkins Road, Tiger Bend Road and Wax Road/Magnolia Bridge Road. And the plan has numerous locations for new sidewalks, including Drusilla Lane, Elm Grove Garden Drive, Mullen Drive, 72nd Street, Sherwood Forest Boulevard, Siegen Lane and South Harrell's Ferry Road.

In August, the Metro Council gave Broome's administration permission to issue up to $200 million in bonds to kick-start the improvement project. That allows the city-parish to borrow against the future money generated from the sales tax.

CSRS was picked in June to oversee all the roads plan capacity improvement projects, estimated at more than $805 million. Stantec is handling the second group of more than $312.6 million worth of projects designated as community enhancement/corridor improvements.


Email Blake Paterson at bpaterson@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter @blakepater