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Where's the turn? Hwy 42 neighborhood feels left out of construction project

3 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Monday, October 26 2020 Oct 26, 2020 October 26, 2020 7:00 PM October 26, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

PRAIRIEVILLE - A resident living along a construction zone is worried her street was forgotten about during the project.

"It wasn't until they started putting in the concrete medians did we realize we're not going to have a left turning lane to access our road eastbound, off of Highway 42," Belinda Cook said.

The Highway 42 construction project in Ascension Parish is scheduled to be complete in March 2021. The project, done to help improve congestion and safety, has several j-turns along the corridor to minimize left turns which can lead to serious crashes. There are many areas along the highway to make a left-hand turn, except for Billy Blvd. That's where Cook has lived for the last 32 years.

"How could you forget this one road?" She said.

The project at its eastern portion ends at Wood Haven Drive. It's also the nearest location where drivers can make a u-turn. Cook fears it's dangerous since some drivers don't make it on the first try and have to reverse into traffic to try again. Others have to drive onto Wood Haven Drive to make a complete turn.

"The other day I was turning left, I counted six cars before me that all made a u-turn and we all had to go into the Wood Haven subdivision," Cook said.

While watching that traffic try to turn around without a designated turn lane, Cook says it might be difficult for a firetruck to make the turn. The other option is a roughly four-and-a-half-mile detour, which takes about eight minutes.

"They're not going to be able to respond to us in a timely manner and in emergencies every minute counts," she said.

In the event of an emergency, Galvez-Lake Fire Department would respond. Galvez Lake says the route it would take depends on what direction it's coming from. If the engine is headed to Billy Blvd. from the station, the lacking left-turn lane would not affect the fire department.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says the Highway 42 project is not complete and a team is working on a solution to implement left-ins that are safe for traffic as part of the ongoing construction. DOTD could not provide a specific location for a possible left-in near Billy Blvd.

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