Avoyelles Police Jury "going backward" in road program

 

By Raymond L. Daye
 
Avoyelles Parish is “going backward” in its road program, turning formerly paved roads into gravel ones instead of the other way around, Police Jury Vice President Kirby Roy said.
 
Roy’s comments came during the Police Jury’s April 14 meeting, after the jury voted to break up Beauregard/Lemoine Road in District 9 and called public hearings on plans to do the same thing to Clemile Dauzat Road in District 2 and Duplechain Road in District 7. A public hearing on both roads will be held prior to the May 12 jury meeting.
 
“This is the fourth or fifth road we have scarified in the past year,” Roy said. “I hate to do it. We are going backward.”
 
Roy said he understands that “scarifying” -- the technical term for returning a paved road to a dirt or gravel road -- is better for residents than traveling over paved surfaces that cannot be properly repaired. He said the process solves the current problem and may cause another one for residents when dry weather causes dust from traffic. However, he continued, scarification is not the way to improve the parish road system.
 
“We need to do something in the future,” he said. “In two years, we will see another eight roads on this list of paved roads returned to gravel.”
 
Juror John Earles said the move to put gravel roads where paved roads once were could give the jury “a gravel problem” in the near future.
 
Roy told his colleagues that this is an election year, with jury seats to be decided in October and runoffs in November.
 
“I’m just saying, nobody running for office can be promising anyone a road,” Roy said, to a few snickers from other jurors.
 
At the end of the meeting, Juror Sam Piazza told jurors there are two roads in Ward 1 that he wants to consider for scarification -- Hwy 107/115 Cutoff Road and Scroggs Road. A public hearing on those roads will be scheduled after the May 12 meeting.

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