HENDERSON, La. (KLFY) – A section of the Levee Road (LA 352) in Henderson is down to one lane. Drivers have to wait at a stop light for opposing traffic to move through. The reason?
“The pavement itself is actually crumbling. It’s starting to break off,” explained Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette.
Collette said the road has been in this condition for over a year – affecting tourism and local business.
“The locals are getting aggravated and the people coming in, they really don’t know where they’re going. When they see this they’re kind of shocked. They don’t know what to expect on the other end of this. So it’s a hindrance and it’s devastating to the area right now,” Collette said.
Collette said the Henderson Levee Road started cracking last summer. The DOTD came out and put up a barrier and they closed about 300 feet of the road. Then over the course of the summer, more cracks appeared. Now, about 0.8 miles of the Levee Road is down to one lane.
“The slope failure has actually encroached into the asphalt roadway so there’s a failure of the roadway there so we can only put traffic on one lane,” explained Bill Oliver, the DOTD District Administrator.
The Henderson Levee Road is a hurricane evacuation route.
Collette said he’s met with the DOTD, the Levee Board, the Army Corps of Engineers, state lawmakers and Congressman Clay Higgins about the problem. But right now, there’s no money to fix the road.
“The real issue with that project is funding,” Oliver said. “We cannot use our gas tax money for repairing part of a levee system.”
“This is an emergency. A roundabout is not,” Collette emphasized. “And I understand when it’s allocated for certain project it has to go there but it seems like to me an emergency situation should supersede it and it doesn’t.”
The DOTD said it’s doing engineering and survey work to determine how much the repairs would cost.
The agency is looking to see if any federal funds are available for projects like this one. Mayor Collette remains hopeful the road can be fixed soon.