Apr 18, 2014 7:21 PM by Kari Beal
New roads are coming to St. Landry Parish. The parish council unanimously approved a project this week to re-pave almost 472 roads. A two percent sales tax for fifteen years will fund the $66 million project.
While there was some opposition to this tax, it was approved by voters with more than 60% support in 2013. Resident Lyle Shoemaker who lives on one of the most run-down roads, Chretien Point Road, said it's about time.
"They always patched it up, and it just made it worse. It's like riding down a riverbed down here," Shoemaker said.
Pot holes and cracks not only cause a bumpy ride, but they can do serious damage to a vehicle.
"The roads have torn up many springs and shocks, tires. I've had tires before that I had to change because the belts were broken because of these roads," Shoemaker said.
St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot said the repairs should take two to three years.
"We will try to design these in packages of several roads at a time," Fontenot said.
Fontenot explained the first few roads on the list are scattered across the parish, but ultimately their goal is to group off certain nearby roads so all the construction can be completed at once and contracted through one bidder.
Chretien Point Road is one of the first on the priority list. Fontenot said rather than paving with a cement mix as used before, the new road will be paved with an asphalt, concrete mix that will last up to 15 years.
"The asphalt and concrete will have more thickness, more structure, therefore it will last longer," Fontenot said.
Construction should start in August and the list of all the roads due for repair can be viewed here.
The parish will have a map and priority list on their website Tuesday.