EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - On Wednesday, Oct. 30, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome released information about which of the more than 50 MovEBR projects will be worked on first. Additionally, the mayor’s office says traffic light synchronization and sidewalk construction projects are already underway.
“I want to thank the MovEBR Prioritization Committee for its quick work, allowing us to release the first group of projects with work beginning immediately. The first projects moving forward represent every part of our parish and every metro council district. We’re moving quickly and we’re moving forward together,” said Broome.
The mayor’s office says the first 22 projects that will move forward with funding from an initial bond sale include major roads like Airline Highway, Florida Boulevard, Jones Creek Road, Pecue Lane, College Drive, Harding Boulevard, Groom Road, and others. The projects will provide new capacity for these roads, as well as enhancements to existing roads.
Mayor Broome says projects involving traffic light synchronization, sidewalks, and ADA projects are already underway and should be done by the first half of 2020.
- Readiness to Construct – The project has already advanced into the design and right-of-way process
- Safety – The project will deliver measurable improvements to safety
- Congestion Relief – The project offers the largest congestion benefit, both locally and regionally
- Complete Streets – The project offers the best opportunities for different transportation modes including bikes, transit, and pedestrian
- Quality of Life – The project provides access to public and community spaces
Using data from the above criteria, the committee came up with a weighted scoring system to identify projects in three priority groups:
- GREEN PRIORITY PROJECTS – Work on these projects is expected to begin immediately, including procurement of design services, purchase of right-of-way, and utility re-locations. Some projects will move swiftly into construction since pre-construction efforts are almost complete. Projects identified with the orange shovel icon are expected to move more quickly into the construction phase within the next 24 to 36 months. Green Priority includes 22 projects.
- BLUE PRIORITY PROJECTS – Several projects in this priority are also expected to start within the next few months and be in construction within the next 24 to 36 months based on funding availability. In addition, as some of the Green Priority projects are completed, other projects in the Blue Priority that need to follow those projects could be released to advance as funds are available. Blue Priority includes 15 projects.
- PURPLE PRIORITY PROJECTS – Projects in this group will begin as funding becomes available through future bond sales or other funding sources. Some of the Purple Priority projects are dependent on others in the Green or Blue Priority group being complete first. As those projects are completed, other projects in the Purple Priority could be released to advance as funds are available. Purple Priority includes 14 projects.
CLICK HERE for a list of all projects.
“Our prioritization committee focused on the efficient and expedient delivery of transportation projects throughout the city-parish that will improve safety and reduce congestion for all our neighbors,” said Tim Harris, vice chair of the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA). “The process was strategic and data driven like a business plan you would encounter in the industrial sector. I appreciate the administration making this process transparent and based on professional criteria.”
“The MovEBR infrastructure plan is critical to the growth of our local economy,” said Liz Smith, senior vice president for economic competitiveness at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC). “The projects have been prioritized to get Baton Rouge’s people and products moving efficiently and safely.”
“Our committee looked for the greatest benefits to East Baton Rouge Parish and the ability to get Baton Rouge moving as quickly as possible,” said Nancy Curry, president of the Federation of Civic Associations. “We feel good about the way taxpayers’ dollars are being spent in this program.”
More information about MovEBR project prioritization, including maps of project locations, can be found here.