Ruston awarded $17 million grant for road improvement

The city of Ruston received a $17 million grant for its "Monroe Stree Corridor Project." Source: (KNOE)
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) The city of Ruston received a $17 million grant for its "Monroe Street Corridor Project."

According to Andrew Halbrook, the city Engineering Technology Manager, the project was created to help connect downtown Ruston with Louisiana Tech's campus.

"What our goal has been all along has been to connect both the university and the residential housing they have. The private development is going in currently the same area, as well as creating a safer environment for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles alike," he said.

The project is divided into seven components, including a new bike path from residential areas onto campus, and a new corridor from I-20 to downtown.

Louisiana Tech also wants to use the project area for a "Smart Cities Innovation Testbed," a project that would place sensors around the area to monitor everything from the presence of harmful gasses to traffic information.

"I mean if you really look at all the sensors can do, it can tell you when parking spots open, all kinds of data can come out of," said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker.

The mayor said he wasn't sure when they would actually get their hands on the money, but said they would be ready to work when they got it.

"We as a city, we'll be ready from a standpoint of engineering, right of way, environmental, we've already done all that," said the mayor. "So we're sitting on go."