Mandeville councilman calls for tapping road fund - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Mandeville councilman calls for tapping long-unused road fund

Mandeville, La. -

There's a new push in Mandeville to use millions of dollars in a little known fund to make dramatic traffic improvements both inside and outside the city limits.  The program could see more roundabouts constructed as officials attempt to iron out some nasty traffic snarls. 

The Four Corners area lies where busy Highway 190 and crowded Highway 22 come together in the heart of Mandeville, and it's often backed up with up to 40 cars.

"I don't know what they can do, but anything would help," said driver Julie Lott.

Freshman Mandeville councilman Rick Danielson says it's finally time to begin using funds from a special taxing district known as District Three to iron out a number of Mandeville-area snarls such as Four Corners, as well as build a new road connecting Highway 1088 to Pelican Park.

Danielson says the fund generates about $1.6 million each year, and has been virtually untapped since it began in 1990.   He says as much as $16 million may now be available for road and drainage improvements in the Mandeville region.

Danielson also wants to see a traffic study done to see if more traffic roundabouts should be built to ease congestion at other crowded intersections.  Roundabouts are common in Europe, but rare here. 

Drivers who use a roundabout built in Abita Springs say it has performed flawlessly.  "I've been up here five years, never seen an accident," said Abita Springs resident Steve Hart.

Parish leaders promise to work closely with the Mandeville councilman as he looks to leverage local funds with state and federal money.

"One of the things that came out of the meeting last week was to set up a meeting with the parish and the Department of Transportation and Development and Mandeville and have an inclusive discussion," said St. Tammany Parish spokesman Ronnie Simpson.

With more parish growth in the forecast, St. Tammany leaders say it's time to create more regional solutions to traffic and drainage problems.

Danielson will seek Mandeville council approval for his traffic improvement plan this Thursday night.

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