David Amrhein

The Zachary City Council on Tuesday agreed to pay an engineering firm to conduct a traffic study looking at where speed humps and other kinds of traffic calming devices might be most beneficial.

The council approved an $11,500 contract with Baton Rouge firm Urban Systems Inc. for the study, which will include about 22 streets.

“We’ll find out exactly which way to go and we’ll quit spending money needlessly on things that may or may not work,” Mayor David Amrhein said.

The study will help city leaders determine where traffic calming devices should be installed and set criteria for what types of streets should be eligible for them. That issue has been discussed regularly at council meetings since the summer, when residents of the Fennwood area brought up concerns about speeding on their streets.

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"I think it will be money well spent,” Amrhein said, noting that the city does not have an in-house traffic engineer.

Also on Tuesday, council members agreed to install a crosswalk at the intersection of Young Street and Rollins Road. Young Street runs in front of Zachary High School and behind Zachary United Methodist Church.

Police Chief David McDavid said the crosswalk will make things safer for people walking in the area, especially fans attending Zachary High School sporting events.

The crosswalk is the latest traffic-related change the city has made in that area recently. Last month, the council voted to turn the Church Street-Rollins Road intersection into a four-way stop in hopes of reducing traffic congestion.

The council also:

  • Awarded a $1.58 million contract to build a 500,000-gallon elevated water tower to the apparent lowest bidder of four firms: Caldwell Tanks Inc., of Louisville, Kentucky. The contract will be paid for with grant funding from the state, Amrhein said.
  • Introduced an ordinance to be voted on later levying a 0.55-percent sales tax in the newly created Zachary Commons Economic Development District. The tax would fund infrastructure improvements at the Zachary Commons shopping center, which is near Walmart on Main Street.
  • Approved a resolution allowing the city to sell natural gas to the nearby Georgia-Pacific facility.
  • Agreed to buy four Ford Explorers. Three will go to the Zachary Police Department, and the mayor will drive the fourth. The mayor’s current Ford Explorer will be transferred to the police department.

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