In the Fall of 2011, FOL announced the proposed lighting project to install lighting along the running/biking path from Veterans Boulevard to Robert E. Lee Boulevard between West End and Pontchartrain Boulevards alongside the New Basin Canal Park.FOL hosted its first fundraiser for the project in November 2011. The inaugural “Lighting the Way in Lakeview Gala” cleared over $25,000.
FOL is thrilled that, earlier this year, the project was accepted as eligible into the Transportation Alternatives Program for 2014-2016 by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (“LADOTD”). Approximately 80% of the construction cost of the project, or a maximum amount of $694,000, will be funded through the LADOTD, once all grant conditions have been met. FOL (through an agreement with the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority (“NFPAMA”) serving as the local government sponsor) has agreed to fund the remaining 20% of the construction cost ($173,500), in addition to engineering and construction management costs not covered by the LADOTD grant (and additional $141,000), making this a $1 million-plus capital improvement project for our neighborhood.
The Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) is a bi-annual funding program authorized by the most recent federal transportation funding act (MAP-21) and administered by LADOTD. TAP activities offer opportunities to help expand transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience through activities related to surface transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and safety programs. Construction will begin once the plans receive full approval and the project is let through the LADOTD process. LADOTD grants like this are a blessing, but they require an extraordinary amount of additional paperwork, time, and expenses not normally required for a private project. Of course, without this grant, it would take a decade or more to raise the necessary funds. Instead, FOL expects that the project will now go out for bid and construction to begin in 2016.
So what has been done to move the project toward construction over this past year?
- Since the announcement of the lighting project, members of the Board of FOL have worked closely with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC), LADOTD, and the FOL electrical engineer under contract in developing engineering plans and costs estimates to submit for approval;
- Through your generosity, FOL has fully funded the costs of the requisite engineering plans – a critical step in the process.
- As explained above, the project was officially “green-lighted” and accepted by the LADOTD in 2015;
- Members of FOL’s Board of Directors attended a three-day workshop this past summer in which FOL received specific instructions on how to properly navigate the Grant Program;
- FOL, the fundraising arm, is currently working with NFPAMA to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding so that both parties can move forward under the guidelines established by the LADOTD;
- The Environmental Review process is now underway and a “Solicitation of Views” letter will soon be sent out to both public and private organizations to explain our project and garner the requisite input;
- FOL is currently working with our Project Design Engineer to navigate the LADOTD design review process; and
- FOL has also created a “Request for Qualifications” packet that FOL will ultimately use to bid and select the engineer who will manage the construction inspections as required by LADOTD.
11/16/2011: Here’s an article written by WWL regarding our efforts!
In order to raise the remaining proceeds necessary to completely fund the completion of the electrical engineering plans, FOL will host the Third Annual “Lighting the Way” Gala on Saturday, November 21, 2015 beginning with the Patron Party at 7 p.m. and the Garden Gala at 8 p.m.