City-parish officials and MovEBR program managers have begun the process of prioritizing the 70 projects involved in the $1 billion road improvement program and expect the list—outlining which projects will come first—to be completed by mid-November.
It’s been more than two months since the Metro Council unanimously approved two 18-month program manager contracts to oversee the MovEBR program. Since then, CSRS and Stantec have been working with the city-parish to establish a management system, determining the roles and responsibilities of the 16 firms involved in the two contracts.
That process is nearly finished, says Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill. In the meantime, they’ve have begun working on the prioritization list of MovEBR projects.
“The prioritization process has kicked off,” Hill says, adding they’ve been at it for two weeks now. “We had a second meeting this past Monday.”
Officials are also working on financial matters and bonding for the program, Hill adds. They expect the first bond issue to come through in November. The Metro Council approved a resolution earlier this year to allow the city-parish to bond up to $200 million for MovEBR, though Hill says the bond issue will likely be a smaller amount.
“It’ll be something less than that. We haven’t set a final number yet,” he says. “That first bond issue will give us enough upfront money to get started. We’ll use a combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go (funding).”
If all goes according to plan, the MovEBR program will get rolling in early 2020, starting with the design and engineering of projects before construction actually begins. But it’s still too early in the prioritization process for Hill to say which projects will be first in line.
“It’s coming together nicely,” he says. “Things are going extremely well.”