Posted: Jul 1, 2014 10:40 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Jul 2, 2014 8:58 AM
PRAIRIEVILLE - Contractors are advising drivers to avoid La. 73 in Ascension Parish at all cost due to massive repairs underway.
Drivers in Ascension Parish claim they are falling off the highway because of the road construction that started in the fall of 2011.
"I didn't have enough room, front tire went off. I tried to pull back up," Coy Redmond said. "Suspension busted in half. Blocking the whole highway."
Redmond's jacked-up truck did not stand a chance. He tipped off the side of La. 73 after he tried to get out of his neighborhood.
"Me being a shop owner, it cost me about $600," Redmond said. "You can't fix it on the side of the road. I had to have it towed, and it's an over-sized truck so it cost me more to tow it."
Starr Breaux keeps bottoming out in her car because the highway is not even with neighborhood entrances.
The road shredded the paint off her bumper and cost $2000 to repair it.
Drivers are also concerned about the embankment created by construction that at times is more than two feet high.
"What happens right here at this edge is that they have to stop turn around and try not to drop off the cliff over there," Rebecca Elmore said.
Barber Brothers is in charge of the repairs. Contractor Lee Barber spoke to News 2 by phone and said he'd like drivers to "avoid the area, if you can."
He agrees the construction is a hassle for drivers and said the road widening project is taking longer than most because it's a brand new design with slopes and dips unlike the previous road.
The new design is leading to the current uneven lanes, he said.
He also claimed the completion date is getting pushed back because the construction is not just a road project. It also includes a new sewage and drainage system being put in place.
Pending the weather, Barber hopes to have all the lanes even by the end of the week.
The highway project is expected to be done by March 2015.