Dial Dalfred: Raggedy Roads

Dial Dalfred

IBERIA PARISH (KLFY) – For years, an Iberia Parish woman has struggled getting to and from her home because the road is in such terrible condition.

Oak Haven Lane, tucked away in corner of Iberia Parish is home to only a few residents, but not a day goes by that Mary Hebert doesn’t suffer because of the condition of her street.

“The worst thing in my mind is that there is no emergency personnel that is going to make it back here. If something happens to one of these kids or something, nobody is going to be able to get back here.”

In fact, the road is so bad in some places, we had to park our cars on the side of the street to avoid getting trapped in a large hole and walk the rest of the way to the Hebert’s home.

We aren’t the only ones taking precaution; the school bus driver drops kids off at the entrance of the neighborhood, and the residents have to walk their trash bins all the way to the blacktop, about a quarter-mile walk for the Hebert’s because the garbage truck can’t travel there.

Oak Heaven Lane Resident Joseph Hebert says it’s hell, it’s tough to drive on the road.

We reached out to Joel Dugas, Iberia Parish District 9 Councilman, for some answers.

“It’s unfortunate that we have roads like this in the state of Louisiana or anywhere.”

Concerned for his constituents, Dugas contacted a private contractor who agreed to do the repairs. But, because Oak Heaven is a private road, government isn’t allowed to spend tax dollars to fix it.

“The cost of building this road, putting new material on this road would’ve been in the neighborhood of $150,000”, Dugas said.

That price covers getting the road to parish standards, including leveling the road, laying asphalt, plus drainage; at that stage, the parish would have the option to take over the road. But over the years residents can’t seem to agree to pitch in and cover the cost, mainly for financial reasons.

Dugas believes, “There needs to be some kind of way for these people to get infrastructure built when they can’t do it for themselves.”

And that’s where things got problematic, the Hebert’s threw more than $3,000 at the road over the years for repairs, but can no longer afford to do so. With the original seller deceased and no succession, the families on Oak Heaven will dread the drive home for the unforeseeable future.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community or there’s a story you’d like me to investigate, send me an email at DialDalfred@klfy.com.

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