Ascension highway construction overlapping
PRAIRIEVILLE- Two major highway construction projects will overlap since the state is announcing a large project Tuesday.
La. 73 construction between Airline and the interstate won't be finished until October, while construction along La. 42 is expected to begin this week.
Along Higway 73, a gas line conflicts with a sewer line and caused construction delays. The line was moved and relocation work will be complete by the end of March. The Department of Transportation and Development says the road construction part of the project was delayed due to weather and utility relocation.
"I could tell it wasn't going good. So yeah, I was kind of expecting that," said one resident.
While the construction is frustrating, residents are noticing improvement. "They put down some asphalt so you can see they're getting it up to grade and we won't have to go over rocks anymore," another driver said.
Tuesday morning, the state will announce work on La. 42 from Airline to La. 44.
Parish leaders believe the official project start date was March 10 and they are currently working to bring in materials. The first phase of the project includes sewer, clearing and grubbing along the purchased right-of-way.
Pastor John Carrigan's church is in that area. He said Oak Grove Baptist Church sold property to the state and Carrigan says he's uneasy about the change.
"Every time someone comes in and takes some of your property away, it's frustrating," said Carrigan. "For me, it's progress in this area that has to take place, and we're the victim of it."
The church, along with other businesses along La. 42, are worried about customers.
"Attendance is always going to slip when something like this happens," said Carrigan. "I do worry a little bit about it."
The roadway construction portion of La. 42, which is estimated to cost between $20-$30 million, is scheduled to begin in September. It is an anticipated to be complete by the summer of 2016.