St. Bernard Parish Receives New Funding for Mississippi River Trail
St. Bernard Parish Update – MAY 19, 2022
Chalmette, LA. – St. Bernard Parish Receives New Funding for Mississippi River Trail
St. Bernard Parish Government has received $389,000 in new funding for the St. Bernard Parish Mississippi River Trail.
In attendance for the check presentation was the Honorable Judge Eldon Fallon, Sidney Torres III, Parish President Guy McInnis, Susan Klees, Sal Gutierrez, the Honorable Daniel Dysart, Roberta Burns, Parish Councilman Howard Luna, Kellson Jeffery, Deborah Jan Fagan, Mary Hand and Sheriff James Pohlmann.
The multi-purpose bikeway is approximately twelve miles long and spans from the Orleans Parish line to the Plaquemines Parish line. The new funding provided by the Murphy Oil Cy Pres Committee will help the Parish complete the entire St. Bernard Parish Mississippi River Trail route.
Due to the length and funding constraints, the Mississippi River Trail is divided into multiple phases. An on-road buffered bicycle lane was previously constructed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development along St. Bernard Highway in Arabi and portions of Chalmette. Four phases of off-road multi-purpose trail are planned east of Paris Road including the first two phases in Violet and Meraux which the Parish expects to construct this year. The off-road trail segments will be paved and suitable for joggers, walkers, skaters, bicyclists, equestrians, motorized wheelchairs, and other non-motorized users.
Presenting the grant award to Parish President Guy McInnis are Sidney Torres III, Committee Chairman; Committee Members Salvador Guiterrez and Judge Daniel Dysart, and U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon who oversees the Cy Pres program.
The funding by the Cy Pres Committee supplements state, federal and local grants previously committed to the project totaling $2, 675,446. Grant funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program. Additional grant funding and support were provided by State of Louisiana Recreational Trails Program through the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The Regional Planning Commission of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa Parishes also provided funding and technical support. Finally, critical support and property donations have been provided by the Meraux Foundation and Valero Meraux Refinery totaling over $355,000.
Parish President Guy McInnis thanked the members of the Murphy Oil Cy Pres Committee for the funding assistance that will provide the Parish with grant matching costs and fund other costs not covered by the grants received thus far.
The construction of the trail system is a key component in the Parish’s recovery efforts providing an important amenity for current residents and the type of public improvements that will attract new families and residents to the Parish. It is also critical for improving the overall health of Parish residents as Louisiana’s obesity rates are fourth highest in the country with 38% of adults classified as obese (exceeded only by Mississippi, West Virginia and Alabama). Providing affordable easy access to facilities that help the community become more active is a valuable tool in fighting this national problem.
The Mississippi River Trail is one major component of the Parish’s regional trail network adopted in the 2017 St. Bernard Parish Bikeway and Pedestrian Plan Update. Copies of the full plan are available on the Parish website at www.sbpg.net under Public Information, Bikeways and Trails. For further questions about this project, you may contact Deborah Jan Fagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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