The Morgan City government has started to tear up and replace the old bike-walking trail from Fig Street to the pumping station on La. 70. The new trail will be 8 feet wide. Grants for future trails are being submitted for a July 1 deadline.
Photos Courtesy of Mike Loupe
Work progresses on Morgan City bike trail
Improvements and extensions of Morgan City’s biking and walking trail are underway.
Officials hope to eventually have a trail encompassing the entire city and connecting to Berwick’s trail.
On Thursday, Morgan City workers began preparing to repave a slightly more than 4,000-foot section of the city’s bike trail starting behind Morgan City High School in the area of Fig Street and Marquis Manor, Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said. The city is funding that segment at a cost of about $40,000. Grizzaffi expects that work to take a couple of weeks.
As part of an effort to encourage activity in the community, Morgan City and Berwick officials have agreed to open the La. 182 bridge over Berwick Bay to pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the first Saturday of each month starting July 6.
Bike trail organizers have received a $100,000 grant through the Recreational Trails Program that’s part of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, said Catherine Holcomb, vice president of St. Mary Excel. The excel group is coordinating efforts to improve Morgan City’s bike trail.
The grant will fund the trail from Justa Street to the Cajun Coast welcome center. Morgan City government will provide 20 percent in matching funds for that grant.
Officials have written applications for three more $100,000 recreational trail grants and plan to submit those applications by the end of June, Holcomb said. Those grants would pave the trail from the welcome center, behind David Drive on the Hellenic property and then along a canal all the way to Lake Palourde. The grants are sponsored by the city of Morgan City, Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau and St. Mary Levee District.
H&B Young Foundation paid for T. Baker Smith to develop the master plan for the trail and agreed to pay the 30 percent local matching funds if officials receive those subsequent grants, Holcomb said.