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Crews begin installing street lights at accident-prone Walker roundabouts

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LIVINGSTON PARISH - The Department of Transportation and Development has begun the process of installing overhead lights at the roundabouts in Walker—which are notorious for car accidents.

On Wednesday, crews were busy stripping away debris and dirt to install wooden frames that will shape cement used to support street lights at the north and south roundabouts near LA 447.

"It will be a wonderful thing and save a lot of lives," one motorist told WBRZ.

In an effort to try and fix the traffic congestion of a growing city, crews put the roundabouts in Walker just over a year ago. But they seemed to have only caused confusion for drivers, creating more problems than solutions.

Officials are hoping the installation of street lighting will make traveling safer for drivers after sunset.

"Since [the roundabouts] have been there, there have been wrecks almost every day," said resident Kandi Crowe. "At night, it's hard. You can't see."

To be exact, at least 150 accidents have occurred at the north and south roundabouts since August of 2017. According to Walker Police Officer John Sharp, almost half of those accidents may have happened later in the day.

"I would say 60 percent in the daytime and probably 40 percent at night," Officer Sharp said. 

Authorities say eight street lamps will be installed between the two roundabouts.

"It should reduce the number of accidents that occur at nighttime, and also help those people who are unaccustomed to this roundabout," Sharp added.

It'll take nearly $800,000 dollars to get the job done, and motorists should be seeing the upgrade very soon.

"They're hoping to have the lights on and burning by January," said Sharp.

The lights are part of a two-part project implemented by DOTD. In total, the project will include 77 street lights spreading throughout the area, and cover the exit and entrance ramps of I-12. If inclement weather happens to affect the January projection, the next target date is slated for April.

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