- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

HAMMOND, La. (AP) - The City Council has given its support to proposals to connect University Avenue with Pride Drive, creating only the second east-west corridor through the Tangipahoa Parish city.

The Advocate reported (http://bit.ly/1j0NtE7) the council has authorized the city’s grants department to apply for a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant for the project.

City grant director Lacy Landrum said the department awards such grants for cities to plan for major traffic improvements.

The resolution calls for a $300,000 contribution from the city’s grant-matching fund if the federal grant is awarded.

Hammond officials have for years discussed extending University Avenue to Pride Drive and then on to nearby U.S. Highway 190 east of the city.

The approximately three-mile-long stretch would connect Southeastern Louisiana University with Northshore Regional Airport and the nearby Northshore Technical College.

University Drive starts on the west of the city at Interstate 55.

If the extension is completed, it would connect the interstate directly to the airport and to areas east of Hammond.

Landrum said considerable planning and a feasibility study would have to be before actual construction can start. The proposed extension of University Drive would pass through some existing neighborhoods.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com