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City of Covington Construction Project Update from Mayor Mark Johnson

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The City has been quite active during the past 60 days regarding infrastructure improvements. Kudos to engineer Callie Baker for getting these engineering and construction contracts underway:

1) Repave Boston Street (LA Hwy 21) engineering design. Special thanks to Senator Patrick McMath and Representative Mark Wright for funding.
2) That said, the City currently has no money budgeted to repave any of our other downtown or Division of Spring streets. We will continue to focus on repairing, replacing and lining our aging and leaky sewer lines.
3) Updating water line on 14th Ave between Jefferson and Jahncke. Retired Fire Chief Richard Badon had lamented the lack of a hydrant in this area.
4) Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Chlorine system maintenance.
5) The screening apparatus at WWTP has been broken for a couple of years. This means every object flushed into our sewer system has been hand-raked out of our waste water input. Repairing this apparatus is a good thing.
6) State law requires engineers calculate the load bearing of all bridges every two years. Like most of America, our bridge system is aging out.
7) Crepe myrtles planted near the sidewalk have rooted into the culverts on Lockwood between Columbia St. and Florida St. This has had an adverse effect on drainage. While repairing the drainage culverts, we will take this opportunity to also repair the sewer lines.
8) Miscellaneous repairs (phase I) per 2016 engineering study for WWTP.
9) Replace aging generator at WWTP. Plant receives, treats and discharges about one million gallons of effluent into the Tchefuncte River daily.
10) Extending Philip Drive water line to provide water to Fire Station #2.
11) Safety striping of 15th Avenue from Hubie Gallager to River Forest and at westward bound turn at 15th Ave and S. Tyler St
12) Engineering design for replacement of Lurline Drive from Karen to Division Street.*
13) Sewer line breaks along Lurline Drive identified by smoke testing and cameras will be repaired prior to replacing street.
14) Engineering State required guard rails for 15th Ave / Rattle Snake Branch bridge.
15) Engineering design for replacement of Columbia Street / Mile Branch. No $$s are currently budgeted for actual construction (estimated at $1M).
16) All abilities access path along the riverside of Bogue Falaya Park is coming in under budget (grant provided dollars, thank you Mayor Cooper’s administration). Unused grant funds are being applied to extending the path behind the playground along Mackie Creek.

*As a rule, I do not offer timelines for completion. My life experience as a builder / developer tells me such estimates are seldom correct, create false expectations and disappointment.

Also, a shout-out to Chief Administrative Officer Erin Bivona, Director of Finance Stephen Sanders and Public Works Director Chris Davis. The procurement process is tedious, heavily regulated, counter to typical business methods and miserable. Their work and expertise are critical to us overcoming the waterfall of bureaucracy.

www.covla.com