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Homeowners look for private road maintenance solution

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ST. AMANT - A road that's part Ascension, part Livingston Parish is torn up on the Ascension side. The parish says because it's a private road, it's not it's responsibility.

Off Highway 22 and down River Highlands Road are a handful of neighborhoods. It's a two and half mile stretch that's part Maurepas and part St. Amant. Near the end is a concrete section of road that has bumps, holes and cracks. Neighbors have placed caution cones in the mess to alert drivers of the potentially hazardous area. 

"There was some rebar sticking up and I heard someone had a flat tire," said Carlton Haycook.

The nuisance has encouraged drivers to drive over the curb and onto grass to avoid the area. In the last month this technique has destroyed the curb that's now missing large chunks of concrete.

Along with trucks, school buses travel down River Highlands a dozen times a day. Haycook says the buses have a difficult time getting around the busted road. 

"It's just progressively getting worse," said Haycook.

Finding a way to fix the issue is becoming just as difficult as avoiding the massive hole.

The entire road is private, which means the parish can't make repairs or improvements.

"The plat of subdivision specifically states that the road is private," said Ascension Parish Public Information Officer Martin McConnell.

The money to fix the issue, isn't available. Haycook says surrounding him are a handful of homeowner's associations. Each HOA collects dues to perform maintenance in their specified area. The section of road Haycook lives in is the newest and does not have a formed HOA.

"There is no organized way of getting the fees to get this fixed," he said.

A couple homeowners have attempted to patch holes themselves, but that did not work. Haycook is hoping his neighbors can come together to find a permanent fix and come up with a plan for funding road repairs. It could include a homeowner's association of their own.

Ascension Parish says residents of Bayou Terrace Drive, on the opposite side of Highway 22, formed a road district and taxed themselves. The proceeds were used to improve the road. Once that road was brought up to standard, the parish council voted to take the road into the parish maintenance system. Homeowners on River Highlands could potentially do the some thing, but the parish says it cannot accept a road that does not meet the standards.

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