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Baton Rouge City-Parish will not accept ownership of Government Street until DOTD fixes medians

7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Friday, July 07 2023 Jul 7, 2023 July 07, 2023 4:52 PM July 07, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - After years of negotiations between the EBR City-Parish and DOTD over landscaping on Government Street, the two agencies have finally come to an agreement.

Fred Raiford, Director of Transportation and Drainage for the EBR City-Parish says the city will not take ownership of Government Street until DOTD fixes the medians, which are in deplorable condition. 

"They've agreed that they would go back in and replant the entire area all the way from Lobdell to I-110," said Raiford. "Currently, they have already done parts of the roadway from Lobdell to Acadian, all that's done."

The remaining section from Acadian to I-110 remains untouched with unsightly weeds, trash and grass growing taller by the day. Raiford says the reason for that is because the contractor had to order more materials. 

Although the medians were built as part of the Government Street Road Diet project in a joint effort between DOTD and the City-Parish, the state still technically owns the roadway. Therefore, the City-Parish does not have the power to mow the grass, according to Raiford. 

"We're not going to do any work on the roadway because it is still under DOTD's control," said Raiford.

Raiford agrees that the neglected, unmaintained medians are an eyesore for drivers including himself. And, when the City-Parish does eventually take ownership of the street, they're considering making changes to reduce landscaping costs and safety hazards presented by the medians. 

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

Neither Raiford nor DOTD would reveal how much the landscaping maintenance actually costs. A formal request for the documentation has been filed. 

Raiford said he hopes the work will be completed by the end of the month. 

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