PLAQUEMINE - The Iberville Parish Council approved a resolution allocating $150,000 for a new highway project called the West Bank Connector.

In doing so, the parish joined five others in an effort to alleviate congestion over the Mississippi River on Interstate 10.

The proposal was presented by Wilfred B. Barry, president of SJB Group, a Baton Rouge engineering firm.

Barry said other parishes that will be connected will only pay $50,000 for the first phase of the plan because a new bridge would be built in Iberville Parish.

The project would include a four-lane highway from 1-10 west of Port Allen to La. 1 south of Plaquemine before branching off to cross the Mississippi River near St. Gabriel.

La. 1 would also be improved from Plaquemine to Donaldsonville along with a section of La. 70.

The project is estimated to cost $1.65 billion and funding could come from state savings by closing ferries after the bridge is built and tolls reimposed on the Sunshine and Gramercy bridges, Barry said.

The council also recognized Caroline Landry as 2012 Miss Iberville, proclaimed March 19 as "Gussie Lewis Day" in honor of 96-year-old Mrs. Gussie Jones Lewis and recognized Cliff "Chachie" LeGrange for a book he wrote on Bayou Pigeon.

Also, a resolution was approved granting Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. authority to act on behalf of parish government in all matters relating to the Iberville Parish Medical Facility, which is set to go out to bid in the next month.