There is an old Stealers Wheel song with the refrain, “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle… .” Surely this song was written about the Louisiana Department of Traffic Delays (DOTD).
While Louisiana enjoys an unprecedented increase in construction, the DOTD decides to make it more difficult for people to get to and from work. While the river is an asset, it’s also an obstacle. Just ask those who spend hours waiting in seemingly endless lines to cross a bridge or board a ferry.
Meanwhile, the clowns decide to paint two bridges at once, reducing the traffic carrying capacity by 50 percent. Instead of increasing ferry capacity, they reduce it by closing the ferry at White Castle completely. It would help to run two of the 35-car ferries at Plaquemine, but one remains tied up to rust in place.
The Audubon Bridge was built from nowhere to nowhere, except it passes through a former politician’s land, and due to a lack of traffic, makes a great place to picnic with a wonderful river view. Meanwhile, the decades of neglect of Louisiana’s highways continues to allow deterioration at an even more rapid rate, putting us closer to the rutted gravel roads of yore. Potholes breed potholes.
Serious economic development means serious infrastructure investment. This would allow companies to get their workforces onto the job, raw materials delivered and products and services to market. Making it easy for businesses to do business is better than trying to buy them into the state or buy votes with money that could be spent on infrastructure enrichment.
The resources and jobs are here; leadership is missing.
John M. Evans
industrial fabrication contractor