OPELOUSAS — The first phase of the St. Landry Parish $66 million road improvement project is about 85 percent complete, according to a report from parish President Bill Fontenot.
But that report was not enough to quiet complaints from several residents who spoke at Wednesday’s Parish Council meeting about deteriorating roads they say are dangerous to drive on in the parish and are ruining their vehicles.
The funding source for the road program is a 2-cent sales tax collected over the next 15 years in the unincorporated areas of the parish.
Fontenot said in an interview that the $66 million will pave and overlay a maximum of 350 miles of roads.
The parish, Fontenot said, has about 800 miles of roads that will eventually be overlaid during the 15 years the tax is collected.
According to Fontenot’s report, work on seven on the roads in the first phase is complete, while work continues on another 15 roads. Recent rains have prevented contractors from doing much work on the road projects, Fontenot said. Several residents questioned why their roads are not included in the project’s first phase, saying their roads are in deplorable condition.
John Peck, a bus driver for the St. Landry Parish school district, said he was unable to bring busloads of students to school because of two roads in an rural area between Port Barre and Arnaudville.
“I had to refuse service because of safety concerns,” he said.
Peck also said one of the roads, Lanclos Road, floods frequently.
“My concern is for the children; I almost went into a ditch the other day on that road,” he said.
Larry Singletary, who lives on Chretien Point Road, said that road “is beyond disrepair.”
Chretien Point Road, in the Sunset and Cankton areas, has done damage to his vehicles, Singletary said.
“Struts, shocks are ruined and I can’t keep anything in alignment. I understand it’s number four on the road list. I think I have been extremely patient,” Singletary said.
Fontenot told Peck and Singletary that the roads they discussed will eventually be fixed.
In another matter Wednesday, the council voted to introduce an ordinance creating a no-wake zone for Two O’Clock Bayou between Krotz Springs and Port Barre.
The proposed ordinance overs the distance between U.S. 190 south to the bayou’s landing and weir areas.
According to a committee report, wakes caused by the racing boat engines are washing away properties along the bayou.