interstate.120718.02 (copy)

Graphics of the proposed Interstate 12 improvements.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will hold an open house and public meeting April 3 to discuss the proposed widening of Interstate 12 between La. 1077 and U.S. 190.

The meeting will take place at St. Tammany Parish Council Chambers, 21490 Koop Drive, in Mandeville.

DOTD initially proposed widening I-12 from about 1.2 miles west of the LA 21 interchange continuing eastward to the U.S. 190 interchange. However, to alleviate on/off ramp traffic the project limits have been extended 0.8 mile west to the LA 1077 interchange. The project proposes to widen I-12 by the addition of one lane in each direction into the existing median; to overlay the existing lanes with asphalt; and to install concrete median protection. The project will also include auxiliary lanes connecting Pinnacle Parkway across the Tchefuncte River to U.S. 190 in both directions.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide information about the project and to obtain input from interested parties. There will be a continuous multimedia presentation about the project. Representatives from DOTD will be available at the open house to answer questions and discuss issues related to the project. 

Forum planned to discuss new law that gives felons right to vote

A community forum to discuss a new Louisiana law that allows nearly 40,000 people with felony convictions to vote will be held April 13 at the Towers Building, 520 Old Spanish Trail, in Slidell.

The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of St. Tammany Parish, The Slidell Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Tau Kappa Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

The nonpartisan event is intended to give citizens the information the need to have informed and active participation in government and public policy.

Speakers at the forum will include Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D-Baton Rouge, who sponsored House Bill 265, and Bruce Reilly, deputy director of Voice of the Experienced (V.O.T.E.). Reilly was formerly incarcerated and earned a law degree upon his release. He continues to work in passing significant criminal justice reforms.

The program will begin at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m. 

Sheriff's Office gets grant to prevent highway fatalities

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office recently was awarded $148,099 by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to be utilized as part of a statewide fatal and injury crash reduction effort.

The primary objective of the program is to reduce fatal and injury crashes on Louisiana roadways. Funds will be used to supply additional manpower to conduct extra seat belt enforcement, DWI patrols and underage alcohol enforcement in St. Tammany Parish.

As part of these efforts, the STPSO will increase deputy patrols in neighborhoods and on our highways during weekends and holidays, times when statistics show most alcohol-related crashes occur. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office also will use the funds to conduct sobriety checkpoints throughout the year.

Public school system to hear proposed changes to pupil progression plans

St. Tammany Parish Public School System officials have scheduled meetings to receive input and discuss proposed changes to its pupil progression plan.

The public will have an opportunity to give input on the proposed changes when the meeting is held May 8 at the Lakeshore High School library at 6 p.m.

The plan establishes placement, promotion, retention and grading policies for students within the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. A committee of school administrators, teachers and parents meets annually to review the plan and submit recommendations to the School Board for consideration.

The plan will be presented to the St. Tammany Parish School Board for its consideration on July 11 at its Committee As A Whole meeting and again on July 18 at its regular board meeting.

National nonprofit presents gift to Mandeville Police Department

The Mandeville Police Department recently outfitted all of its officers with tourniquets that were provided free of charge by the nonprofit "The Spirit of the Blue Foundation."

Along with basic first aid training and lifesaving measures such as quickClot, tourniquets are a simple, yet invaluable tool that can be quickly applied to save a life on scene when seconds count.

The tourniquets and training were provided at no cost to the MPD by John “Brad” Gilpin, President of FDL Group; a company that specializes in tactical first aid training of first responders.

The Spirit of Blue Foundation is a 501(c) (3) based in Rochester, New York, dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs. The Foundation has awarded 87 grants in 35 states since 2011.

Temporary traffic switch in Mandeville

The Louisiana DOTD implemented a traffic switch on a portion of La. 22 on March 25 between U.S. 190 and Dalwill Drive in Mandeville.

The road has been reconfigured to a temporary two-way roadway, with westbound traffic shifting to the center turn lane. During this time, motorists will still have access to business driveways on W. Frontage Road and Dallwill Drive. The configuration is needed in order to begin removing the existing roadway to lay new asphalt and curbs along the corridor.

The work is part of a $2.58 million widening and drainage improvement project, with Magee Excavation and Development handling construction. The project is expected to be complete by this fall, weather permitting.

U.S. 190 lane closures continue near Covington

There will be daily alternating single lane closures on U.S. 190 between Interstate 12 and the Bogue Falaya River Bridge (Claiborne Hill) through April 6 between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The contractor is demolishing and excavating remaining asphalt on the road putting new asphalt in the new turn lanes, and constructing new concrete curbs and gutters.

Oak Harbor Boulevard near Slidell has lane closures

There will be alternating single lane closures in both directions of Oak Harbor Blvd. between the Interstate 10 eastbound and westbound on/off ramps in Slidell through April 7.

Also, the shoulders on both the on and off east bound and westbound ramps will be closed at the Oak Harbor interchange.

The closures will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 daily, weather permitting, for electrical demolition, as well as construction of a new curb and median of Oak Harbor Boulevard.

One lane of traffic will remain open at all times.