A 3.2-mile stretch of the primary evacuation route in Plaquemines Parish – Louisiana Highway 23 (LA 23) – is now being elevated. The State Department of Transportation and Development have begun a $10.5 million project to elevate the roadway anywhere from 2 inches to 2 feet. The reason behind the expansion is because of the beating the roadway took during Hurricane Isaac. The highway is constantly inundated with tidal surge during tropical weather. After the hurricanes are over, residents still cannot reach their homes or jobs because of damage to the roadway.
“After the storm, we saw the need and we saw the frustration in everybody’s eyes (because) of this happening year after year,” Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said during a news conference in Alliance on Wednesday.
The expected time period to complete the project is approximately 14 – 16 months with the road once again fully operational in Fall of 2014. For now the southbound lanes from Alliance to Point Celeste are closed and southbound traffic is being diverted to the northbound lanes which will handle the 2-way traffic until at least November.
State Sen. John Alario, R-Westweg and Rep. Chris Leopold, R-Belle Chasse were able to get the funding needed for the highway renovation. The urgency behind the funding was to get commerce up and running after storms as quickly as possible in order to not stall out state revenue. Also, approximately 20,000 people travel into Plaquemines Parish for jobs at refineries or to work offshore as Venice is now considered the “gateway to the petroleum industry in the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” according to Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser. A final reason for the project is that PHI, Inc., which is a helicopter company that services oil rigs, is expanding their operations into Venice, LA. Their evacuation route and transportation route needs to be accessible both before and after a storm.
More industry south of Plaquemines Parish means more growth of revenue through the parish. Since Plaquemines Parish is already considered to be in ideal place to live because of its proximity to New Orleans without incurring the steep costs of living in the actual City of New Orleans, any improvements to the roadways is a quality of life improvement for our residents here at The Parks of Plaquemines. To learn more about living in Plaquemines Parish and the homes and lots available for sale here, Contact Us at 504-364-2350 or E-mail Info@TheParksLifestyle.com.