Rayville gains $1.5 grant for access road
The Town of Rayville has received a $1.5 million federal grant to construct a service road from the I-20 to the industrial park.
The grant is part of $9,313,500 in federal funds to assist with the economic recovery of communities affected by Hurricane Gustav.
“We’re excited about this,” Rayville Mayor Harry Lewis said. “This will mean a lot, not only to the town but to the surrounding area.”
Lewis added he hopes the road will be completed within a year, opening up access to the 200-acres of the industrial park and attracting other businesses which normally locate along access roads.
“We’re hoping to get outlet malls,” the Rayville economic development director James Smith said. “This could lead to 200 to 800 new jobs in the parish. This isn’t just about Rayville. It’s about Delhi, Mangham, Holly Ridge, Start, the surrounding parishes.”
Officials also hope the access road will tie in with the Franklin Farms megasite, helping to bring more industry to the parish by making access to the town’s industrial park quicker and easier for shipping.
The entire project is estimated to cost almost $2 million. Lewis said he hopes to get the other $450,000 needed from the state. Lewis also noted the grant was secured through a community effort by Sen. Francis Thompson, Rep. Bubba Chaney and the Richland Parish Police Jury as well as the town.
“We couldn’t have done this without their help,” he said.