New Iberia City Park soon may be home to another community-funded project, an RC speedway.
The project is under way, but recent rainy and cold weather has halted progress on building the track, said New Iberia Parks and Recreation superintendent Tony Migues. Some dirt has been hauled for the track, but additional dirt is needed.
The track, which will be located near the Bayou Wheels Skate Park, will be a self-sustained dirt track. Organizers are designing the course and searching for the machinery to level it out, Migues said.
The track will include borders and jumps for the cars, some of which can reach up to 90 mph, Migues said. Once the track is established, it will be open to the public, will not cost anything and will include seating for those who want to watch, he said.
Organizers also plan to hold races periodically at the park, Migues said. He said it will cost $5, but it will be an all-day tournament-style event.
The best part of the project, Migues said, is that all of the materials and services will be donated, without costing the city any money. He said the project was the brainchild of a park-goer who enjoys remote-controlled cars.
Tony Cheramie, of New Iberia, said he brought his two sons and grandson to the park one afternoon with his high speed remote controlled car. Others in the park bombarded them with questions, but they were happy to see the interest.
“That’s when I decided a track around here would be a really good idea,” he said.
Cheramie, 40, said he has been interested in remote-controlled cars since he was a child, although they are more advanced now. He said he frequently visits a dirt track in Destrehan, which he will use as a model for the New Iberia track.
Several sponsors already have signed on for the project, including two Lafayette hobby shops, Big Boy Toys & Hobbies and Hobbytown USA. He said he is continuing to work with other sponsors, all while founding a New Iberia RC Club that has garnered nearly three dozen members.
Cheramie said he hopes the track brings out of town people to the area and serves as a place for families to spend time together.
Migues said he is proud to see the community work together to accomplish things in the parks, like the New Iberia Playground Enhancement Project and the Raising Cane’s Dog Park.
“It’s coming along, and we’ve got to be patient,” he said. “We’ve got some go-getters in New Iberia. We just have to find who they are.”
Organizers are trying to get the project done as soon as possible, but likely will take a break for the holidays, Migues said. He said he hopes to have it open to the public early next year.