PLAQUEMINE — The city is giving residents an opportunity to weigh in on a proposed ferry landing and walking/bike trail near downtown Plaquemine — a project the mayor says will serve as the springboard for a multiphase revamp of the city's Mississippi River levee front.
"We anticipate this being a three-phased project with the landing being the first phase, the extension of the levee trail to the north Plaquemine park being the second phase, and the extension to the ferry landing being the third phase," Mayor Ed Reeves said in announcing the project and upcoming town meeting.
The city hopes to answer any questions from the public about the project and get input on the plans at the meeting slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.
In the meantime, Reeves said, the city is trying to secure grant money from the state for the project's first phase, projected to cost about $2 million.
"That's going to be a six-month process," he said. "I expect to hear something around December."
Construction on the first phase — the landing and 1.3-mile walking and bike trail — is not expected to begin until late 2018, the mayor said.
The delay is in part due to the lengthy process of obtaining the necessary permits from the U.S. Corps of Engineers and Atchafalaya Basin Levee District.
The proposed ferry landing will be adjacent to the Plaquemine Lock Historic Site, and the walking and bike trail will extend in both directions of the landing.
Reeves said the trail will be lined with lights and tie into both the Plaquemine Lock site and the Mark A. "Tony" Gulotta Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park.
"This recreation trail will have several uses," Reeves said. "We envision a brick area with a pavilion, seating and lighting at the landing area, similar to the landing at Port Allen."
He said the project will provide visitors with a great view of the Mississippi River and will add to the area's tourist attractions.
The mayor added that it "can also be an alternative to vehicle use for our residents in the area to get to downtown facilities and businesses."