City gets million dollar grant for levee top recreational trail

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

Mayor Edwin "Ed" Reeves, Jr. announced that the City of Plaquemine has received a $1 million grant for the construction of the city's Riverfront Recreational Trail, a 1.2 mile trail on the city's Mississippi River levee.

The grant was awarded by the Capital Region Planning Commission on December 12, and the funds are provided through the La. Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD). The grant requires a city match of $200,000. "We had already received $140,000 in state grants for the project, so we now have $1,350,000 available for the levee top trail project," said Mayor Reeves.

Mayor Reeves noted that prior to the $1 million grant award announcement, the city was preparing to go to bid in late January on Phases 1 and 2 of the project, but had cut the project to only the trailhead and a portion of the trail and cut amenities to meet a tight budget. "This is very exciting because we thought we were going to have to piece this project over a number of years," said Mayor Reeves. "Now we will be able to do the project in one to two years."

The $1 million grant requires the city to meet strict LDOTD guidelines, so a meeting is set in early January for the city to become educated on the guidelines. The city was advised that the LDOTD requirements will slow the project being put out for bid. "We don't know at this point what we can put out for bid, or how long the LDOTD process is, but we will move as quickly as possible. The grant funds will certainly allow us to complete this project much faster than the City of Plaquemine could have done it by piecing together financing over a number of years," said Mayor Reeves.

The recreational trail includes a trailhead with ramps to the levee top at the Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site. The trailhead includes two pavilions, stamped concrete, lighting, and benches. The trail will extend north to the North Plaquemine Park, where a ramp and walkway will go to the park. It will extend south to almost the Plaquemine Ferry Landing, and a ramp will be constructed with walkway to the new Fort Area Park. The original plans call for lighting and benches the length of the trail.

"I know residents are excited about the recreational trail, and we are happy to offer this for our community," said Mayor Reeves. "We will continue to work on it as quickly as possible and will keep residents updated on our progress."

Contributed by the City of Plaquemine