Ascension officials exploring cause of subdivision road failure _lowres

Advocate staff photo by David J. Mitchell -- This section of Timberstone Drive, seen Friday, Nov. 21, in the Keystone of Galvez subdivision of Ascension Parish is failing. Parish officials plan to close Timberstone at Wynstone Drive 7 a.m. Monday to find out why. Though other sections of Timberstone and other roads in Keystone had problems with road construction that were repaired a few years ago before they became parish roads, parish officials said they believe this problem is due to some kind of utility leak.

Work crews will dig up Timberstone Drive in the Keystone of Galvez subdivision on Monday to see what is causing the road’s foundation to fail, Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said.

Martinez said some kind of leak appears to be damaging the foundation but no utility company is claiming responsibility.

“Nobody wants to take the claim, so we’re digging it up, and we’re going to find out who it is and we are going to charge them,” Martinez said.

The asphalt road surface has sunken below the bottom of the concrete curbing, creating an open gap between the bottom of the curb and the top of the sunken surface of the asphalt.

The failure is near Timberstone’s intersection with Wynstone Drive. Timberstone will be closed at the intersection starting 7 a.m. Monday until further notice while crews work on the road, parish officials said in a news release this week.

The 318-acre Keystone subdivision is located in the Galvez area south of La. 933. Timberstone is one of the central routes through the cul-de-sac development. While many homes already have been built in Keystone, home construction continues and crews continued pouring slabs Friday.

A different section of the decade-old subdivision had road problems in late 2011 when parish inspectors found major road cracks as curbing pulled away from the asphalt road surface in then-new phases of the development.

The parish sued in state District Court to force repairs before the roads were accepted in the parish system in September 2013.

Rickey Dearmond, parish road inspector, told the Parish Council’s transportation committee in August 2013 that the developer’s and parish’s engineers met and came up with a plan to fix the problems in Keystone’s second and third phases.

The developer posted a new performance bond guaranteeing the work for one phase and extended an existing bond for another while the repairs were made.

In August 2013, Dearmond said the staff recommended accepting the roads into the parish system because the repairs seemed to work and the roads were in good shape.

About a half-mile of Timberstone was in the problem area then, but the new problem on Timberstone appears to be along a different, older section of the 1.2-mile road in the parish system, according to recorded plats.

Martinez said he does not believe the current problem is related to the issues from a few years back.

Parish officials said drivers can reach Keystone subdivision from La. 933 to Keystone Boulevard or from Joe Sevario Road to Devall Road.

For more information, call Ascension Parish Department of Public Works Assistant Director Johnny Richardson at (225) 450-1302.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter @NewsieDave.