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Bridge construction traffic damages Zachary road, temporary fix to continue

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ZACHARY - There are about 10 houses on a stretch of road that has been badly damaged by 18-wheelers. One of those homeowners reached out to 2 On Your Side after he wasn't getting any answers.

McHugh Road in Zachary has been torn up by heavy trucks hauling material for a portion of the Comite Diversion Canal project. Brandon Mason says he's worried that at the rate it's going, they'll have no road left in a couple of weeks.

"It's a mess!" said Mason. "They've been using this road to haul, I estimate hundreds of loads of limestone a day."

It started with a couple of holes and those holes have grown into large messes. In some areas, the road is broken into dozens of pieces.

"They leave it pretty damaged, I mean, to the point where our cars were dragging on asphalt, jagged and sticking up."

About a mile or so down the road, the Army Corps of engineers is working on the canal project building a bridge. While Mason supports the result, he doesn't understand why his road is being destroyed in the process.

"We're looking for help, we don't know what to do," said Mason.

The City-Parish says it's working with the City of Zachary to make temporary fixes to the road. The City of Zachary has recently put dirt and rock in those holes to help mitigate the problem. The road will be rebuilt in the future under the MOVEBR project, but not until the bridge work is complete. That could be later this year, but Comite Diversion Canal completion dates have come and gone. Last week, it was announced that delays could push the project back to 2024.

Mason says the road is better than it was, but it's nowhere near fixed and fears continued truck traffic will make it worse. He says the trucks should have come up with a different plan from the start.

"Or they should have tried to maintain it to keep it from getting this bad," he said.

The City-Parish says it wouldn't make any sense to put asphalt down now because the trucks would mess it up again. Zachary Mayor David Amrhein says the holes will be filled once a week or as needed. He says his biggest concern is making sure emergency vehicles can get down there if they need to.

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