Denham Springs — Juban Road has a new shopping center, access to both U.S. 190 and Interstate 12 and plenty of land for sale, but officials say a lack of sewerage is slowing development.
Presently, there are a few houses, a mobile home park and lots of empty spaces on the road, which is just east of Denham Springs. Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks says developers are eying the land, and more access to utilities will encourage them to invest faster.
“I think it will make (Juban Road) more attractive,” he said.
Earlier this year, the mayor and City Council of Denham Springs, which provides wastewater treatment to the shops and will eventually provide the service to homes at Juban Crossing, discussed expanding the lines along the rest of the corridor, saying without utilities, future growth would be hamstrung.
However, the land lies outside the city’s sewer district, and parish leaders now say they have their own plan to provide service with some help from the private sector.
The developers of Sela Gardens, an upcoming subdivision with about 120 homes, are building their own wastewater treatment facility, said engineer Eddie Aydell, whose firm works for the parish sewerage district. When it is completed sometime in the next four to six months, the company will donate it to the district, he said.
The facility would have enough capacity to handle the sewer system along Juban Road between the interstate and Florida Boulevard, but someone else will have to put down collection lines.
State Sen. Dale Erdey said he is trying to find some money in the state’s capital outlay fund to pay for the construction of the collection lines. He and Ricks estimate the project would cost about $800,000 or $900,000.
If the parish can’t pay for it, the project will have to wait for the state Department of Transportation and Development, which is planning to widen Juban Road to four lanes. The agency can install sewer lines when they widen the road, but the project is still in the early stages, having just ended the public comment period last month.
Erdey has seen the “For Sale” signs advertising land that line the Juban roadside, and said the installation of collection lines will make the properties more enticing.
“That’s going to be a big asset for that area,” he said.
But the lines between U.S. 190 and I-12 are only the first step in a larger plan.
“This is just a temporary fix,” said engineer Clayton Driggs.
The sewer district is researching how to link the area from the intersection of Lockhart and Eden Church Roads down to Port Vincent. The district could then build a large, regional wastewater treatment facility somewhere south of the interstate, Driggs said.
However, the project would require miles of new sewer lines and collaboration with the companies that already manage wastewater collection from existing subdivisions, the engineer said.
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