The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) announced a $1.5 million dollar investment is underway for the Safe Routes to School project.
According to a press release from DOTD, the initiative was designed to enhance the sidewalks, driveways, handicap ramps and several routes in Lafayette Parish.
Travis Smith, a Civil Engineer for Lafayette Consolidated Government said the Safe Routes to School project will help improve the areas around five, different schools (L.J. Alleman Middle & Woodvale Elementary Schools, Ernest Gallet Elementary School, Duson Elementary School and Ossun Elementary School).
"When we applied for this project, we competed across the states on safe routes to school projects that may be needed among other areas and this particular project was awarded the funding," Smith said. "So, those neighbors that are near schools will now have better access by having new sidewalks in those areas."
Michelle Packer said her 11-year-old son attends L.J. Alleman Middle School. She said she understands the long-term goal, but said she is concerned about how the construction will impact traffic.
"I drive in from Scott, so it already takes me a while to get here," Packer said. "But I'm actually early most days, so it might not affect me as much as those who are far behind."
KATC also reached out to Erol Gary who said his grandson attends L.J. Alleman Middle School. Gary said he doesn't see the need for repairs near his grandson's school.
"It looks like it's a pretty good neighborhood," Gary said. "It looks like it [has] good sidewalks and everything, I don't know if they really need that."
While the work is scheduled to take place Monday through Friday from 7:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening, DOTD is asking drivers to be patient and to drive carefully through construction sites.
The Safe Routes to School project enhancements are expected to continue until December.