Morgan City is juggling several construction projects to improve the quality of life for both residents of Morgan City and all who travel through the city. The 100 North sidewalk project is on the south side of 100 North from Trojan Blvd. to 300 West. The sewer is being updated to incorporate a diffuser and overall improving the function. The Commercial Street realignment is mainly complete, and the bridge preparations are underway. All these projects are near completion, apart from the bridge which is scheduled to be finished in 2024. Below are the details regarding each project.
“The 100 North sidewalk project is slowly moving along,” according to Lance Prescott, the Morgan City Street Department Supervisor. Concrete shortages have slowed the project, but Morgan City asserts that they are still on track to have it completed before school begins. The curb behind Morgan Middle School has been poured and started to be worked on that section of sidewalk two weeks ago. Around the first week of August was when concrete was delivered to pour the sidewalk located in homeowners’ driveways. It would replace the necessary sections of the homeowners’ driveways to match the new sidewalk. All the asphalt work is scheduled to be completed by the second week of August. The city hopes for completion before school starts on Aug. 24.
The sewer project is nearing completion and should have a significant impact on the health of the lagoons. The project introduces diffused air near the bottom of the lagoons that will introduce oxygen into the water without creating turbulence like the old aerators. “There will also only be one air pump running making it not only more effective, but more efficient to operate,” shares Ty Bailey, Morgan City Manager. The best news for the residents is the project should reduce the odor that sewer lagoons are known for!
Going back, the first publication of the advertisement for bids on the Commercial Street realignment was on Feb. 11, 2022, and the advertisement ran once a week for three consecutive weeks. The bid opening was done on Mar. 3, 2022, and Wardell Brothers Construction, as the lowest responsive responsible bidder, was awarded the bid. The bid amount was $519,613.00. The contractor has 90 calendar days after receiving the Notice to Proceed or until Aug. 17, 2022, at the latest to complete the work, finishing the week before school begins. Construction on the bridge is planned for the Spring of 2023 and should be finished in 2024. The bridge will include a 10-foot-wide sidewalk to accommodate foot traffic. This will extend the Mickelson Mile to eventually continue to the fairgrounds. The city has applied for a grant to build the trail and if it is funded, would likely come to fruition a year or two after the bridge is built.
Through engineering for the bridge, it was discovered that Commercial Street was not only located in the Union Pacific Right of Way, but also too low in elevation. Bailey continued, “In an effort to save time and money, the city started a project to re-align Commercial Street instead of including it as part of the Young Street Bridge project. This project was not originally anticipated, but within a few months has come to fruition.” Now the new road is completed, the existing road was removed. Not only was the former road on railroad property but was less than ideal being located right next to a fiber optic and gas line.
The main part of the Commercial Street relocation project in preparation of the bridge has been completed. City crews have spent the last week installing power conduits to relocate lines into the new easements and to eliminate overhead power lines. The overhead power lines were buried in the ground in conduit along Commercial Street. The bridge project is still moving forward with the next step of selecting a Construction Management Firm to put the project out to bid and manage the construction. “The City has completed our prep work with re-aligning commercial street,” explained Bailey. “The $2 million dollar grant has not been spent yet as we are applying it towards the construction of the bridge.”
Morgan City and residents alike are excited for the completion and construction of these projects which are intended to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for all involved.