Vermilion Parish road project gets mixed reviews

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ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Usually, people are pretty happy to see crews putting down new asphalt on a roadway. 

But the DOTD isn’t getting much love working on LA 82 in Vermilion Parish. 

The original roadway is not in bad shape at all. That’s why some are questioning why do a project like this?  

The DOTD says this a preventive maintenance project. They’re putting down about an inch of new pavement on the roadway.  

Officials said it should extend the life of the road another 10 to 20 years. 

“Everybody’s complaining that we should be doing other roadways that are in worse shape,” said DOTD District Administrator Bill Oliver. 

Wayne Touchet is a Vermilion Parish police juror whose district falls in the work zone. 

“I have a lot of other roads in my district that could have used this asphalt a lot more than this road could have used it,” he said. 

Touchet said LA 82 is a very important road. 

It serves as a hurricane evacuation route and leads to Palmetto Island State Park. 

Flora Higgins of Coteau takes the road often to go crabbing at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. 

She said the alternating lane closures haven’t been too bad. 

“It got a little congested but they move the traffic pretty good so I was impressed with that,” Higgins said. 

The eight and-a-half mile work zone runs from LA 330 in Abbeville to LA 333 in Esther. 

Oliver said the DOTD is spending $1.26 million on the project, which is less than $150,000 per mile. 

“If we had to rebuild that roadway you’re talking about $800,000 a mile so you’re talking about a fraction of the cost,” Oliver explained. 

“They did an excellent job. I mean it’s a beautiful road, it’s well done. The contractor did a superb job on it. I just wish he laid the asphalt somewhere else,” Touchet said. 

Again, the DOTD said the preventive maintenance program has its own budget for projects like this. 

The work on LA 82 should be finished by the end of May. 

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