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After stalled negotiations due to landscaping costs, DOTD transfers Government Street project to City-Parish

1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago Tuesday, February 20 2024 Feb 20, 2024 February 20, 2024 5:13 PM February 20, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - It's no secret that the 35 medians on Government Street are in need of constant upkeep. 

Landscaping costs have been the culprit of stalled negotiations between City-Parish government and DOTD since the 'Road Diet' project was completed in 2021. A spokesperson for DOTD says between routine maintenance and damage from careless drivers, the planter boxes require work at least once per month.

The purpose of the 'Road Diet' was to slow down traffic and reduce congestion by eliminating one lane in each direction, adding bike lanes and landscaped medians in the road. All together, the two agencies spent around $11.7 million for that project. 

EBR Transportation Director Fred Raiford says the upkeep is expensive.

"It's very costly to maintain those islands that are sitting out there," Raiford said.

The medians routinely become an eyesore after being fixed by landscaping crews. Litter is commonly found in the flowerbeds, and they have been run over so many times that the state installed reflectors in them.

Now that the medians and their issues are in the hands of the City-Parish, officials are discussing ways to cut costs. The idea of filling in the medians with concrete has been floated, as well as lowering the speed limit between Jefferson and Lobdell.

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