UPDATE (11/08/2019)– The City of Ruston and Louisiana Tech have received $17.2 million through a BUILD grant to help fund 7 different projects.
“The ultimate benefit for all of the projects is a safer and more reliable transportation system,” Andrew Halbrook, Ruston’s Engineering Technology Manager, said.
The grant will help fund new pavement projects, drainage, sidewalks, and bike lanes making it easier for students to access the downtown area.
“They are using this as a test bed for other cities, so that’s a really really important part of it, because we get to actually show other cities and other universities what can be done in a mulicipality and college partnership,” Mayor Ronnie Walker said.
This US Department of Transportation grant can also help install underground electrical sensors and new infrastructure to provide real-time data for traffic, parking, and environmental conditions.
“If you really look all that the censors can do, I mean it can tell you when there’s a parking spot open, all kinds of data can come out of it,” Mayor Walker said.
Now that the grant has been approved, officials say the next step is to complete each design and focus on selecting the best suited bidder.
“We have two of these components ready to go on the shelf, we have one design that is in design design currently, three that have not been designed, and then the 7th is from the university that is being designed in house,” Halbrook said.
The estimated total of the project is a little more than $23 million, the grant will cover about 80 percent of that. The rest will be funded by the City of Ruston and Louisiana Tech. Mayor Ronnie Walker says construction could start as soon as this summer.
RUSTON, La. — The City of Ruston has been awarded a $17 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the BUILD Grant Program.
The grant will be used to fund projects that will construct new roadways, improve and rebuild deteriorating roadways, add bike paths, and even improve drainage just to list a few.
Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University, stated in a press release, “This transformative project will connect the Louisiana Tech campus to the City of Ruston and improve the quality of life for Tech students and all Ruston residents. In developing the core of the Louisiana Tech campus in partnership with the city, we are creating an environment that supports our joint ambitious economic development goals for the area. We are grateful to Mayor Walker for his tremendous leadership and commitment to achieving these goals and appreciate the exceptional support of our federal and state leaders.”
Congressman Ralph Abraham released the following statement.
“This is truly wonderful news for the city of Ruston, Louisiana Tech University, and the surrounding community, which will benefit from a substantial upgrade to its transportation infrastructure,” Abraham said. “My office has worked side by side with Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker to advocate for this federal BUILD grant and I’m looking forward to seeing these improvements take place.”
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