Over the winter break, the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) completed a project to repave and resurface East St. Mary Boulevard.
The section of the road near Rex Street was repaved, as it’s a high-traffic area, as well as being part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s bus route. According to Cory Dupuis, an employee at Lafayette Consolidated Government, failures in the roadway were repaired, the surface was replaced and the previously fading lines were redone.
“Roadway base failures were repaired and existing asphalt surface was removed and replaced with a 2” thick asphalt resurfacing. Roadway striping was also replaced as part of the project,” he said in a written statement to The Vermilion.
The bicycle lanes still remain; however, the traffic cones that previously blocked them off from vehicle traffic have been removed for the time-being. Dupuis shared that they haven’t been permanently removed and will be replaced.
“LCG Traffic Department will be replacing the delineators, but will be a different style. This work is scheduled to be done in the near future,” Dupuis stated.
The project took about three weeks to complete and was mostly done over UL Lafayette’s winter break to minimize traffic congestion.
When asked if other roads on UL Lafayette campus might be similarly resurfaced in the future, Dupuis shared that no other streets are involved in current projects, but that the Lafayette Consolidated Government is evaluating and considering a couple of potential streets for renovation.
“To my knowledge, no other streets are planned for resurfacing in ongoing projects, but LCG is evaluating the remainder of East Saint Mary Street and McKinley Street to be included in future projects,” Dupuis said.
The continuing work on Lafayette’s infrastructure has been one of the focuses of the city government. The Lafayette Consolidated Government’s adopted budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year states in its introduction the importance of a strong infrastructure.
“The maintenance, revitalization and development of critical infrastructure are crucial to the success of the City and parish. Infrastructure boosts commerce, supports businesses, connects cities and creates opportunities for struggling businesses and communities,” the budget states.
This importance was further stressed in the fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, where $8 million was appropriated for city road and bridge improvements, and $5.4 million for parishwide road and bridge projects, as well as $1.2 million in equipment “to support in-house road and bridge maintenance.”
The Public Works Department has allocated roughly $8.2 million to city infrastructure improvements, going specifically to: preliminary engineering, university corridor (a long-term project to redevelop University Avenue), urban asphalt street patching, urban asphalt overlay/reconstruction, city bridge renovations, urban asphalt street preservation and city drainage improvements.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory wrote in his budget message about the city government’s ongoing work on infrastructure.
“We are working hard to utilize the unprecedented flow of state and federal dollars available for our drainage infrastructure needs. We are also making important infrastructure investments in the City of Lafayette, including downtown, to improve our ability to recruit and retain business,” Guillory wrote.