For several months, the Morehouse Police Jury has been involved with the possibility of entering into a road swap arrangement with the state transportation department involving Naff Avenue.
For several months, the Morehouse Police Jury has been involved with the possibility of entering into a road swap arrangement with the state transportation department involving Naff Avenue and some stretches of highways in the rural part of the parish owned by LDOTD.
If the Jury can find the funds to first repave the heavily trafficked Naff, the possibility will become a probability.
That's the assessment from MP Police Jury President Terry Matthews, who along with the Jury will discuss the subject during its Monday night meeting when it's supposed to review some cost estimates.
An administrator from LDOTD met separately with the MP Jury and the Bastrop Mayor and Board of Aldermen in April to discuss both boards’ participation in the department's “right-sizing” program.
“It's a big initiative,” Matthews said.
If the parish can get the stretch of Naff from Collinston Road to Highway 165 paved, “There's a ninety-nine, point nine percent chance the arrangement will move forward,” Matthews said.
“It's easier for the state to assume ownership if that work is done.”
Matthews has been on the Jury for more than 15 years and said the Jury has explored making much needed repairs to the road since at least that time period, including failed attempts to get state funds to install traffic lights put at key intersections.
According to statistics from the state, Naff – almost 6 miles in length – is the most traveled road in the parish.
An average of 6,000 autos, including 80 carrier trucks, traverse Naff everyday, contributing to the road's bumpy condition, but also necessitating the need for repairs.
The state has a projected assessment that there will be nearly $3 million in road repairs needed on Naff over a 40-year period.
If the arrangement becomes official, it would parlay nicely into the city's pursuit to acquiring – through a federal grant – 85 acres next to its industrial park located along Naff's intersection with Collinston and Airport roads.
“This agreement impacts the entire parish,” Matthews said.