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Stantec's Michael Bruce speaks on Item 77 concerning MovEBR contracts during a meeting of the metro council, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at City Hall in Baton Rouge, La.

Last fall, Baton Rouge voters approved a 30-year, half-cent sales tax to fund nearly $1 billion in road and other infrastructure improvements.

The need is obvious, as anyone who navigates the city’s snarled traffic grid can see. The road plan successfully pushed by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome won’t solve all those problems, but it’s supposed to help.

The fact that tax-averse voters approved the plan last November shows they’re tired of traffic woes and ready to do something about it. Elected officials need to show good faith by moving expeditiously to put the mayor’s MovEBR initiative in motion.

We’re still early in the process, but progress so far has been mixed. After more than a month of debate and a dozen failed votes, the Metro Council recently approved a legal firm to handle bond sales for the city-parish, including those for the roads plan. Extended impasses are nothing new on the Metro Council, but they won’t inspire the confidence of voters who approved the new tax.

In other recent action, the Metro Council approved hiring a couple of firms to help manage the more than 70 projects included in the roads plan. We hope those decisions signal a willingness among city officials to go full steam ahead with MovEBR.

Given the scale of the new roads program, the mayor and council have a responsibility to act with due diligence in overseeing the work, and healthy debates about the stewardship of MovEBR are part of the process.

But deliberation shouldn’t descend into deadlock in doing the people’s business. Even under the best of circumstances, implementing the improvements funded by the roads plan will take years. Given that reality, voters who approved the new roads tax last year are going to have to wait a bit longer for true progress — something they’ve grown accustomed to doing in bumper-to-bumper congestion each day.

Residents are reaching the limits of their patience, though. They expect movement at City Hall on getting the traffic flowing, and they deserve nothing less.