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STATE HIGHWAY ENGINEER.
Act 49 of 1910, p. 74. TITLE. AN ACT to require the State Board of Engineers to assume control of
State Highways under certain conditions; to elect a State Highway Engineer; to define his powers and duties, and fix his compensation; to authorize the construction and maintenance of highways by contract or by the Highway Engineer; to provide for the working of convicts on highways under certain regulations; to authorize the acquisition by expropriation or otherwise of rights of way for highways, drainage canals, or ditches; to provide a revenue for carrying out the objects and purposes of this act, and to provide for the disbursement thereof; and to require the parishes, cities, towns and villages to contribute a certain proportion of the costs of constructing and maintenance of highways, defining a State highway, and repealing all laws or parts of
laws in conflict with this act. SELECTION OF STATE HIGHWAY ENGINEER.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, That the State Board of Engineers, whenever called on so to do by the police juries of the parishes or the municipal authorities of cities, towns and villages, shall furnish the different road districts, parishes, cities, towns and villages with plans and specifications for public roads, and such assistance and advice as will tend to create a uniform system of public roads throughout the State. In order to more fully accomplish this end, the State Board of Engineers are hereby authorized and required to select or appoint a competent engineer and fix his compensation, which shall not exceed the sum of $5,000.00 per annum, who is schooled in highway construction or engineering, to take charge of and construct public roads when authorized to do so by the State Board of Engineers, or upon the request of any of the parochial or municipal authorities, as will hereinafter be provided. SAME-DUTIES, BOND, TERM OF OFFICE, ETC.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, etc., That such person thus selected as provided in Section 1 of this Act shall be known as the State Highway Engineer, and he shall before entering upon the duties required of him by this Act and assigned him by the State Boar of Engineers, take an oath to faithfully discharge the duties imposed upon him and execute a bond with solvent surety in favor of the Governor of the State of Louisiana, in a sum not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00), which bond shall be approved by the State Board of Engineers. He shall hold his office during the pleasure of the State Board of Engineers. The State Board of Engineers shall appoint, in its discretion, such assistant engineers and such other help as may be necessary to the proper conduct of the work of establishing, constructing, maintaining and repairing public highways with the bridges, culverts, drains and other appurtenances and accessories incident thereto. The office of the State Highway Engineer shall be with the State Board of Engineers, and shall at all times be under its supervision, and the said State Board of Engineers shall provide such officer with suitable office rooms and with such clerical help as may be necessary to discharge the duties of his office. DUTIES OF STATE BOARD OF ENGINEERS.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, etc., That it shall be the duty of the said Board of State Engineers to hold meetings at such times and for such periods as it may deem essential for the proper carrying out of the provisions of this Act.
It shall be the duty of the said Board to consider at its meetings all questions relating to the general policy of the State highway system, and for the conduct of the work in general; to receive and consider, at such times as it may select, the reports of the State Highway Engineer and to act in all matters relating to recommendations, estimates and appropriations which it may be found advisable to submit to the Governor. DUTIES OF STATE HIGHWAY ENGINEER.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, etc., That the State Highway Engineer shall have charge of all records pertaining to the State highway system, same to be filed and retained in the office of the State Board of Engineers; shall keep a record of all purchases and orders relating to the business of his office; shall keep on file copies of plans and specifications and estimates prepared by his office. He shall cause to be made and kept a general highway plan of the State, and shall collect information and compile statistics relative to the mileage, character and condition of the State highways and bridges in the different parishes, cities, towns and villiages of the State. He shall investigate and determine the methods of road construction best adapted to various sections of the State, and shall establish standards for the construction and maintenance of State highways in the various parishes, giving due regard to the topography, natural conditions, character and availability of road-building materials, and the ability of parishes, cities, towns and villages to meet their portion of the cost of building and maintaining State highways under the provisions of this Act. It shall be his duty in improving the highways of the State to pay special attention to the most important of trunk roads, and where practicable to construct and maintain continuous lines of road for intra and interstate traffic. He may at all times be consulted by parish, city, town and village officials, having authority over highways and bridges, relative to any questions relating to such highways and bridges. He shall determine the character and have the general supervision of the construction and repair of all highways improved under the provisions of this Act, subject to the approval of said Board of Engineers. He shall report all the proceedings of his office to the Board of State Engineers at such periods as they may designate. CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR OF ROADS.
Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, etc., That whenever the police jury of any parish, the mayor or governing authority of cities, towns or villiages of the State shall decide that any main traveled road or roads in such parish, city, town or village should be improved or constructed under the provisions of this Act, they shall make written application to the State Highway Engineer for State aid in making the proposed road. Upon receipt of such application the State Highway Engineer shall send to the president of such police jury, the mayor or other governing authority of cities, towns or villages a blank form for the purpose of eliciting such information as may be desired concerning the proposed road improvement, which blank form said president of said police jury, mayor or other governing authority shall fill out to the best of his ability and return to the said State Highway Engineer. If the said State Highway Engineer shall be satisfied that the proposed improvement will be upon a main traveled road or of public utility and convenience, and that the parish, city, town or village shall be able to meet its portion of the cost of such improvement, the State Highway Engineer may approve the same and undertake said work of improvement with the approval of the said Board of State Engineers, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and said State Highway Engineer or one of his assistants shall proceed to view said road or part thereof proposed to be improved, and shall make all necessary surveys, plans, specifications and estimates of cost of its construction, out of such materials as may be determined by said State Highway Engineer. For improvements to cost $2,000 or less, it shall be discretionary with the State Highway Engineer, with the approval of the Board of State Engineers, to execute such work of improvement himself, or to allow the parish, city, town or village to do the work, or to let the
same by contract. Where the cost of the proposed improvement is to exceed $2,000, si shall be the duty of the State Highway Engineer to advertise for bids to do the work, according to the plans and specifications prepared therefor, in one or more newspapers having a circulation in each parish, city, town or village, in which such proposed highway lies, for a period of three weeks, when such advertisement is in a weekly paper, and for fifteen days when in a daily paper; and such advertisement shall also be published in one or more daily papers of a general circulation throughout the State for a period of fifteen days. Such advertisement shall state the place where the bidder may inspect the plans and specifications, the place where the bids will be received, and the time and place for opening the same. Every such bid shall be accompanied by a certified check of the bidder in an amount equal to five per centum of the amount of his bid, which check shall be forfeited to the State Highway Fund, hereinafter provided for, should the bidder to whom such contract is awarded fail to enter into a contract, as required, within ten days after notice to do so from said State Highway Engineer. The checks of all unsuccessful bidders shall be returned after the contract is awarded and bond given. All bids so submitted shall be received at the office of the said State Highway Engineer, and shall be publicly opened and read, at the time stated in said advertisemnet, by him or in his presence. The president of the police jury of such parish, the mayor or other governing authority of the city, town or village in which said improvement is to be made, and for which bids are submitted, shall be notified by the State Highway Engineer of the time fixed for opening said bids, and he or some other member of the said police jury, the mayor or a member of the municipal board may be present at said opening of bids. The said State Highway Engineer shall have the right to reject any and all bids it in his opinion a good cause exists therefor, and may proceed to execute the work with his own force, employing such other means agencies as are hereinafter provided; but otherwise he shall award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder, such award to be subject to the concurrence of the said police jury, or of the mayor and council, or other governing authority. The successful bidder shall be required to furnish bond of a surety company authorized to do business in Louisiana, in a sum equal to one-half the amount of the contract awarded, conditioned that such work shall be performed in accordance with the plans, specifications and the terms of the contract, and no party bidding for the work shall be accepted as surety on the required bond. When the contract is signed by the State Highway Engineer and the successful bidder, with the written concurrence of the police jury, the mayor and council, or other governing authority, a copy of same, including the plans, specifications and estimates of cost, shall be forthwith filed in the office of the State Highway Engineer, with a like copy furnished to the said police jury, the mayor or other governing authority, for filing in the office of such parochial or municipal board, and a copy to the successful bidder. CONSTRUCTION, ETC., UNDER SUPERVISION OF ENGINEERS.
Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, etc., That all work of construction, improvement and maintenance of highways, under the provisions of this Act, shall be under the supervision and direction of the State Board of Engineers, and shall be performed by the State Highway Engineer in accordance with the plans, specifications and contract prepared and executed therefor. COST OF ALL WORK-HOW PAID.
Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, etc., That the total cost of all work of highway construction, improvement and maintenance under the provisions of this Act shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon the warrant of the State Highway Engineer, approved by the president of the Board of State Engineers, out of the fund hereafter created for the purposes of this Act. The parish, city, town or village wherein such work of improvement has been or is being performed shall refund to the State one-half of such total cost thereof. The portion of said cost to be borne by the parish, city, town
or village in which said highway improvement has been made shall be paid to the State Treasurer by the treasurer of said parish upon the order of said police jury, or by the treasurer of said city, town or village upon the order of the mayor and council or other governing body. Upon the completion of any such contract for highway improvement, the State Highway Engineer shall certify to the State Treasurer and to the president of the police jury of the parish, or the mayor or other governing authority of the city, town or village, wherein such work of improvement has been performed, the portion of the cost thereof to be borne by said parish or parishes, cities, towns or villages, and if the portion of said parish or parishes, cities, towns or villages, or either or any of them, shall not be paid to the State Treasurer within thirty days after being so certified by the State Highway Engineer, then the portion of such parish, city, town or village remaining unpaid shall be charged against said parish, city, town or village, and no further State Highway Fund hereinafter created.
Provided, that not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) shall be used or apportioned by the State Board of Engineers to the building of such highways in any one parish during any one calendar year, if other parishes have pending applications for State aid in highway construction under the terms of this Act; and provided further, that no parish shall receive an apportionment or expenditure of said funds for more than one year, when other parishes are applying for said funds. PARTIAL PAYMENTS TO CONTRACTOR.
Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, etc., That the State Highway Engineer may authorize partial payments to any contractor performing any highway improvement under the provisions of this Act, as the same progresses; but not more than eighty per cent of the contract price of the work as it is completed shall be paid in advance of the full completion and acceptance of such paid improvement; at least twenty per centum of the full contract of any such work or improvement shall be withheld until the work is satisfactorily completed, inspected and accepted by the State Highway Engineer. ORDER IN WHICH WORK SHALL BE DONE.
Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, etc., That the improvement of roads under the provision of this Act shall be taken up and carried forward in the respective parishes of the State, as far as practicable, in the order of the date of receipt of the applications therefor from the presidents of the police juries of the respective parishes, mayors or other governing authorities of cities, towns and villages, or as the State Highway Engineer may determine; but no parish, city, town or village shall be entitled to receive State aid as provided in this Act unless and until it shall be first made to appear to the State Highway Engineer that the money with which to meet the proportion of said expense to be borne by the parish, city, town or village is either already in the hands of the parish, city, town or village treasurer, or will be so in hand and immediately available upon the completion and acceptance of said work of improvement. ALL CONTRACTS TO BE MADE IN NAME OF STATE.
Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, etc., That every contract for highway improvement to be made under the provisions of this Act shall be made in the name of the State of Louisiana, signed by the State Highway Engineer and the contracting parties, with the written approval of the president of the police jury of the parish, or of the mayor or other governing authority of the city, town or village wherein the work is to be done. No such contract for highway improvement shall be entered into by the State Highway Engineer, nor shall any such work be authorized under the provisions of this Act until the written concurrence therein of the police jury of the parish or parishes, or of the mayors or other governing authorities of the cities, towns and villages, respectively, in which said proposed improve. ment is to be made, agreeing that such parish or parishes, cities, towns or villages, respectively, will assume their proportion of the cost thereof, as hereinbefore provided, shall have been obtained and placed on file in the office of the Board of State Engineers.