City sets ground-breaking for levee trail project for Tuesday

Staff Report

The City of Plaquemine will hold the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Plaquemine Riverfront Recreational Trail at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The public is invited to attend the ceremony at the parking area of the Plaquemine Lock Historic Site on Main Street.

Plaquemine Riverfront Recreational Trail will be built in three phases.

The 10-feet wide trail on top of the Mississippi River levee is being constructed in three phases. Phases 1 and 2 will be completed by late fall and include the trail head adjacent to the Lock Site and extending the trail to the North Plaquemine Park.

The project includes handicapped accessible ramps to the levee top at both the Lock Site and to the North Plaquemine Park, along with benches along the trail. Comeaux Brothers Construction of Plaquemine is the contractor for Phases 1 and 2 with a low bid of $545,000.

Phase 3 extends the trail from the Lock Site south to near the Plaquemine ferry, with a ramp to the Fort Area Park and the installation of solar lighting along the entire trail and other amenities. The City has received grants totaling $174,876 from the Louisiana Office of State Parks and $100,000 from Dow Chemical Co. for the Phase 1 and 2 construction.

The City has received a $1 million grant from the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development for Phase 3 and has a 20 percent match to that grant. Phase 3 is expected to go out for bid by January of 2022.

The entire trail will be approximately 1.3 miles when completed, and will be a walking and biking trail. ATV vehicles and motorcycles will not be allowed on the trail.

The City has been working on this project for over four years in order to get the approval of some 10 federal, state and local agencies necessary to proceed; along with obtaining funding for the approximately $1.45 million trail.

“This project will benefit the city greatly,” said Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, Jr., who proposed the project after taking office in 2017. “Resident will enjoy the recreational benefits for years to come, and it also provides tourism benefits for our beautiful downtown area.”