Community improvement projects top priority list for Mayor Reeves

Staff Report
Plaquemine Mayor Ed Reeves hopes to move forward on work to the old Kyle’s Express property on La. 1 near Main Street, adjacent to the Plaquemine Depot Market.

Work to bring several community improvement projects to fruition will top the priority list for Plaquemine Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, who began his second term in office last week.

Improvement to the parks, which began last year, will continue in 2021, but he also has sights on two other projects that will give a fresh look to the city.

Work will move forward on the cooperative endeavor between the city and the Atchafalaya Board for work on a walking/biking trail on the levee-top along the Mississippi River.

Phase 1 and 2 of the project, set to go up for bids this year, include the trailhead adjacent to the Plaquemine Lock Historic Site, with ramps and handrails from the parking lot of the Lock site to the top of the levee, a stamped concrete trail at the trailhead, and the extension of an asphalt trail to the North Plaquemine Park. The recreational trail will be 10 feet wide and will include benches and trash cans. Phases 3 and 4, which will go up for bids this year.

The project was initiated by Mayor Reeves shortly after he took office in 2017 but has experienced numerous delays in the review processes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal and state agencies to get the approvals necessary to proceed. The review by the Corps took almost one year, and the Levee Board held the City up for almost another year. In the meanwhile, the City pursued grant funding for the project, and has obtained $1.14 million in state grants for the estimated $1.8 million projected cost.

“Residents have asked for walking and biking trails, and this trail offers recreation for our families with a beautiful view,” said Mayor Reeves. “I expect it to get plenty of use, and also to be a tourist attraction for our historic downtown district.

Reeves also hopes to move forward on work to the old Kyle’s Express property on La. 1 near Main Street, adjacent to the Plaquemine Depot Market.

He negotiated the purchase of the property in 2019, and had the old Kyle's building demolished in December, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen. The preliminary plans include landscaping, parking, restrooms and an extended overhang from the Depot Market for outdoor functions, such as flea, arts and crafts or farmers markets.