"This project is long overdue, and hopefully no more of our children will be killed or hurt on this dangerous road," said Zachary Mayor David Amrhein. "It is amazing what you can achieve when two entities come together and partner. I'm happy that the City of Zachary and EBRP City Parish Governments can jointly work together to make this project a reality."
Amrhein recognized Cathy Craig, whose son Tyler was tragically killed on McHost. Ben Zachary, who was with Tyler in the accident, survived. Zachary is now a Baton Rouge firefighter. "Thank you for coming (today) and hopefully there will be no more tragedies like this for our families to endure," Amrhein said.
The project, which could cost about $2.5 million, will be funded in part by the City of Zachary, which has pledged $1.93 million, and City-Parish, which will donate about $1 million.
"Today we will take a danger zone and make it a safety zone," said Mayor-President Kip Holden. "Today we join as a team to make sure tragedies like this will be a thing of the past, and qualities of life for everybody will be improved."
Although those in attendance were enthusiastic, Amrhein said the project cannot progress without right-of-way agreements from landowners whose property is much needed for the project to progress and succeed.
Zachary City Councilman Tommy Womack, District 5, lives on McHost which is in the district he represents. "I'm excited to see it get to this point. I live on McHost Road and have personally seen the accidents and heartache this road has caused many of our citizens," Womack said.
"This has been my first priority, and I'm proud of the partnership that the Parish and Zachary have formed," said Metro Councilman Trae Welch. "Not only will this well-traveled road be improved for highway safety, but citizens who live along this road will benefit because of public safety issues, such as fire and police protection."
Welch has also worked hard getting city-parish officials to contribute to the project.
"This project has become near and dear to my heart. Living in a small community like Zachary, and as a baseball coach, I knew two young men who were involved in accidents on this road," said Chris Davezac, DPW, Zachary.
Davezac also recognized Craig and his mother, to whom he said: "I pledged to you that I would do all I could to make this road safer. I would also like to thank those who are instrumental in furthering this project along."
Engineering work has already begun on the dangerous road with narrow curves, and city leaders will begin going door-to-door urging property owners to donate the 10 foot servitudes required for the road's makeover.
Mayor Amrhein said there will be a meeting in September for people whose property will be affected.
*Meeting details will be published as soon as they are determined.*