GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - There are three major projects underway in the City of Gonzales that aim to improve traffic and quality of life.
Traffic is about to get moving in Gonzales along an area that's been crippled by congestion for a long time. Contractors are making way for a new turn lane along Cornerview Road to Irma Boulevard. City engineer, Jackie Baumann, says people who access this roadway to get around the city are quite familiar with traffic backups.
"East Ascension and several municipal buildings here on Irma have high traffic demand, so we feel and the state, the turn lanes will alleviate peak traffic," Baumann said.
The project is set to be done in four to five weeks. Just across the street, a major overhaul is underway inside the Civic Center. The building, which is a landmark for the Jambalaya Festival and other big events, is being renovated from the August 2016 flood.
"I hope they walk in and they are completely in shock at how different it looks," Baumann said.
Baumann says the new look will not only include upgrades to the interior, but will also include plans for a concrete wall outside to protect the city's investment.
Work has also begun on a multi-phase project to improve drainage, sewer, and expand the parking lot at the municipal park. Baumann says the grounds are not just part of the city; the tennis courts and ball diamonds are a big hit for out-of-towners in the summer. "Our ball leagues are so popular that there are parish-wide residents coming to that park and ball season is picking up right now. It's going to start getting busy at the park," Baumann said.
Plans call for six to eight months of work, but Baumann says there's no need to worry about any of that interrupting play at the park. Contractors will be working around it.
The Civic Center is set to be finished in time for the Jambalaya Festival this May. The improvements are being funded by FEMA and matching funds from the city.