Police Jury accepts improvements to Cocoville, MP Cutoff roads

Jones says state Road Transfer Program is a 'win-win'

A four-year road construction project by the state on the Moreauville/Plaucheville (MP) Cutoff and La. Hwy 107 (Cocoville Road) has officially been completed.

The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury will take ownership of Cocoville Road as part of an agreement that also committed the state to repair a large section of MP Cutoff Road. That part not able to be repaired under the state promise was picked up by the recently created Parish Road District 2.

Police Jury President Charles Jones said the completion of the projects could not have come at a better time. “This is a win-win for the parish,” he said.

In 2013, DOTD presented the transfer program to the Police Jury as a partnership in road reconstruction.

“The Police Jury, along with the partnership of DOTD, reviewed the parish for possible candidates for the program,” Jones said. “The Cocoville and MP Cutoff roads were determined to be the perfect candidates.”

In the program, DOTD identified approximately 5,000 miles of state roads that were in need of repair. In the agreement, these roads were repaired and transferred to parishes in exchange for the state using a “road repair credit” formula to make repairs to parish roads. The credit was based on the state’s future maintenance savings from the road transfer to the parish.

The program helps reduce the state’s future highway maintenance costs while providing better roads for local communities now.

“Roads are being repaired prior to transfer and the receiving local governments are credited for 40 years of routine and capital maintenance which can be applied to any other parish highway capital project,” Jones said.

Both roads were in dire need of repair. Jones said the Police Jury had made numerous unsuccessful attempts to secure funds to repair MP Cutoff. The state’s Road Transfer Program was an opportunity to repair MP Cutoff and to get a reconstructed Cocoville Road at the same time. Jones said former Police Juror Dr. Jim Guillory “moved forward with communications to residents and community leaders in the district. It was apparent that a majority agreed it would be a great accomplishment.”

In September 2015, the jury passed a resolution to submit a formal request to DOTD for approval of the proposal. Jones noted that the estimate for Cocoville Road was almost $2.4 million and the work on MP Cutoff was projected to cost over $1 million. The state “road credit” covered only about 75 percent of the cost to repair the entire length of MP Cutoff, due to an “extensive amount of excavation that was needed to be done.”

The Road District 2 Commission, which includes jurors Dr. Henry Moreau and Trent Clark, agreed to spend $308,000 of its tax proceeds to complete the MP Cutoff repairs.

“Again, this is a ‘win-win’ for the citizens of Avoyelles,” Jones said. “This just means that if we all work together and think a little outside of the box, we can get some good things done.”

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