5-year quest to improve Martin Luther King Boulevard coming to a close
MORGAN CITY, La. — A five-year quest to improve Martin Luther King Boulevard is coming to an end as a final inspection of the project was scheduled today with a ribbon-cutting set for 11 a.m. Friday.
Five years ago, the City of Morgan City requested $1.450 million in capital outlay from the state’s 2007-08 fiscal year budget, Mayor Tim Matte said. Construction began three years ago and was interrupted from the middle of 2010 until the beginning of 2012.
“We were approved during the fiscal year 2009-2010, but only for $700,000. We had done the engineering during 2008-2009 through city funds for $105,000,” Matte said.
Miller Engineers of Franklin did the engineering work for the project, which, due to difficulties in securing funding, had to be broken into three phases.
What became Phase One of the project began at the end of September 2009 with Cecil Perry Construction of Lafayette rebuilding the section of the boulevard from Victor II Boulevard to Allison Street. The work was completed by the end of April 2010 for $461,000, a slightly less than expected amount, according to Matte.
The contract of Phase Two was signed in March 2010 with Sampey General Contractor of Madisonville, and the scope of the work was “what we could do with the leftover amount of money” from Phase One, according to Matte, which was a portion of Martin Luther King Boulevard “about halfway to the old highway.”
Phase Two cost about $218,000, which was nearly the amount of the remaining funding from the original capital outlay request.
Sampey General Contractor did the work for Phase Three, which cost $324,000.
The state allocated $250,000 from the 2011-12 fiscal year from the city’s initial request from the 2007-08 fiscal year, he said.
“In November 2011, we signed a cooperative endeavor agreement with the parish for the completion of the project,” Matte said.
The cooperative endeavor agreement allowed the state to send the money directly to the contractor while $76,000 from the “Gustav Recovery Fund” for St. Mary Parish — which the parish initially received from the state — also went directly to Sampey General Contractor.
“St. Mary Parish received $19 million for post-Gustav recovery, and one of the requests made from the city was to finish the Martin Luther King Boulevard project,” Matte said.
“Work started at the beginning of 2012,” he said.
City chief administrative officer Lorrie Braus said that the upgrades were “built to truck route specifications.”
Matte said, “One of the commitments that we had made when we started this process was changing that to a truck route, it’s been built to that standard, and the industries in town and the port would like to have that as a truck route. We will introduce that ordinance at the council meeting to actually change that to the truck route.”
Now that the work on Martin Luther King Boulevard is complete, “we’re going to start some street repairs on Allison Street shortly” with city funds, he said.