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BR firefighter facing neighborhood drainage, road issues turns to 2 On Your Side for help

1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, May 12 2022 May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022 5:47 PM May 12, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge firefighter has had trouble getting in touch with city leaders about his neighborhood's drainage, so he called Brittany Weiss with 2 On Your Side for help.

Cody Carmena lives on Highland Gardens Road off of Hooper Road. A dozen or so homes are there on land primarily owned by two families. Carmena says for the last few years, his family has been trying to get in touch with the city and their councilwoman about their concerns.

"Every time someone comes down here that doesn't know the road, they end up in the ditch," he said.

The street is very narrow and only allows for one lane of travel at a time. The drainage ditches lining the street swell with water that covers the road during storms. It's caused erosion under the asphalt and pieces of the road to fall off.

"A gas line is exposed from the washout," he said. "A water line is exposed from the washout. Water runs over the road every time it rains—it's a mess."

The street was taken over by the city-parish decades ago, and at one time, it was two lanes. Now, Carmena says you can barely drive one vehicle down there.

Wednesday, 2 On Your Side was there as a Republic Services truck backed down the street to collect woody waste. Other trucks have backed into the ditches and gotten stuck. There is no turn-around.

"If there's a new driver with Republic, they won't come down the road," Carmena said.

This Baton Rouge firefighter says it could get worse. Firetrucks and EMS trucks could have a difficult time navigating the road in an emergency.

"There's always the possibility of an emergency," he said.

After 2 On Your Side asking questions, the city-parish says it plans to visit Highland Gardens Road to take a look at the failing asphalt. Parish spokesperson Mark Armstrong says that in general, the road is in good condition.

"Of course, you showed me the edges of the road where they have fallen off, at least one spot in particular," he said. "Yes, we're aware of that now, and we're going out there to address it."

Carmena says his journey to bring attention to his concerns has been a long one. He says his family has contacted 311 and their councilwoman Chauna Banks multiple times.

"We have not been able to get in touch with her," he said.

Carmena is requesting a meeting to show the city what's going on. He hopes that the meeting happens before more damage is done.

The city-parish says it has received two work orders for drainage in this area and plans to address them by June.

Thursday, 2 On Your Side was able to contact Carmena's councilwoman to notify her of his concerns.

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